The domestic politics of occupation

Saw a brief article in the Times this morning about Hamid Karzai’s recent public complains about night raids targeting mid-level Taliban, even as his government approves of and participates in the command and execution of the raids. We’re used to seeing governments cooperating with the US behind the scenes and skewering us in public, especially in and around this part of the world, but Karzai’s unique position of being occupied while it goes on may be a little different than, say, the Saudis or Pakistanis, who can play the double game a little more easily.

Do Karzai’s complaints carry much weight with his intended audience? Who actually is his intended audience? And would this be more effective or more credible if he weren’t so clearly dependent on the American presence for his own ability to govern (or at least hold office)? More to come later…