May 10, 2010 8:24 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Afghan leader Hamid Karzai begins a four-day visit to Washington today as tensions between the countries continue to simmer. Washington has tried sidelining, snubbing and strong-arming Karzai to get him to do more against government corruption.
For his part, Karzai has felt undermined and sometimes belittled by Washington. Karzai and a large delegation of Cabinet ministers will get red carpet treatment today. It'll be his widest engagement with U.S. leaders since winning re-election in a flawed vote last year.
The Afghan war and what happens after are key issues. By most measures, the war remains a stalemate in the key Taliban-allied districts despite claims of progress. Karzai also believes that Obama's announced date to begin troop withdrawals next summer puts a stopwatch on the war and gives the insurgents moral ammunition.