Afghanistan's Tough Road Ahead

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks to the media at the Presidential palace on September 17, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

On July 20, European, American, and other foreign leaders met in Kabul to renew their dedication to the success of Afghanistan. While the cause is a good one, it will be easier said than done for Afghan forces to take charge of their own security. 

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai's stated desire at the just completed foreign ministers conference in Kabul for Afghan forces to take full responsibility for the country's security by 2014 is an important step in the right direction. To make good on this pledge, however, Karzai will need to do far more to reign in the rampant corruption of his own government and get his own house in order," says Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl. "Because the 2014 date will now become the withdrawal date for many of the international troops stationed in Afghanistan, realizing this pledge will literally become do or die for Karzai and his government. With no end of the war in sight, the stakes could not be higher."