More seriously, over the past week, Obama administration officials described the adoption of the July 2011 “inflection point” in Afghanistan as a response to Hamid Karzai calling for greater Afghan authority for security in his recent inaugural address. Secretary Clinton defended the July 2011 date by explicit reference to Karzai’s inaugural in her testimony Wednesday, for instance. According to Peter Baker, however, Clinton might have been an uncredited contributor to the text of that inaugural speech:

Mrs. Clinton talked to Mr. Karzai before the Afghan leader’s inauguration to a second term. She suggested that he use his speech to outline a schedule for taking over security of the country.

Mr. Karzai did just that, declaring that Afghan forces directed by Kabul would take charge of securing population centers in three years and the whole country in five. His pronouncement, orchestrated partly by Mrs. Clinton and diplomats in Kabul, provided a predicate for Mr. Obama to set out his own time frame.

Well. Never let it be said that Karzai’s interests don’t align with Obama’s.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman