"Above a certain level, people are being very well protected," one "senior U.S. official" told the Washington Post. Corruption and bad governance pose two of the largest problems for the American presence there. According to the Post,
Top officials in President Hamid Karzai's government have repeatedly derailed corruption investigations of politically connected Afghans, according to U.S. officials who have provided Afghanistan's authorities with wiretapping technology and other assistance in efforts to crack down on endemic graft. In recent months, the U.S. officials said, Afghan prosecutors and investigators have been ordered to cross names off case files, prevent senior officials from being placed under arrest and disregard evidence against executives of a major financial firm suspected of helping the nation's elite move millions of dollars overseas...For the Obama administration, the ability of Afghan investigators to crack down on corruption is crucial. If American voters see Karzai's government as hopelessly corrupt, public support for the war could plunge. Corruption also fuels the Taliban insurgency and complicates efforts to persuade ordinary Afghans to side with leaders in Kabul.
What affect will or should this corruption have on the domestic policy debate over the Afghan war? Does it bolster arguments that the US needs to maintain a strong presence there, or those that contend the US cannot take the lead in securing the nation?