It is fast approaching seven years since the Taliban was driven from power in Afghanistan and the world looked forward to creation of a democratic government which would end the excesses of a fundamentalist era of governance. President Karzai met with representatives of Europe and the United States in an effort to obtain greater financial support for reconstruction efforts in his nation. One US envoy felt “the question is no longer what Karzai wants from us, but what we expect from him.” One thing is clear, “more of the same” is no longer wanted or will it be accepted. The West believes reconstruction in Afghanistan depends more on the presence of an effective government that will deal with the mess existing in Afghanistan. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated bluntly he expects “a determined approach to fighting corruption and lawlessness.”
The next one or two years may well be a crucial test as to whether President Karzai will be supported by the West. He has to create a government that can carry forth its mission for effectively meeting the needs of the population. There is little evidence in the record of the past seven years that will soon be accomplished.