UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed the growing frustration of western leaders toward the government of Afghanistan by bluntly telling President Karzai to deal with issues of corruption and incompetence in the Afghan Cabinet or face the prospect that England will not place its soldiers in “harm’s way” to protect a gang of crooks and thugs. Brown warned Karzai he could lose the right to the international community’s support unless he made progress toward meeting goals of governance, security, reconciliation, economic development, and improved relations with Pakistan. Conservative opponents in Parliament accused Brown of softening the message by refusing to threaten complete withdrawal of British forces.
However, for the first time Brown is being open with his criticism. He told the Royal College of Defense Studies in London: “I am not prepared to put the lives of British men and women in harm’s way for a government that does not stand up against corruption.” Hopefully, there will be consequences if Karzai fails to act.