Getting out of the Afghan quagmire
Arvamus 27 Jan 2010  EWR
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Daniel Korski, European Council on Foreign Relations

Nobody calls a summit knowing it will achieve nothing. World leaders, even if they anticipate little by way of concrete action from an event, hope that the glow of the media and being seen with their counterparts will increase their standing. But sometimes summits do the opposite. They are hyped to such a degree, or so badly mistimed, that their failure boomerangs back to hit the organisers. The Danish leader, Lars Løkke Rasmussen is finding this after the Copenhagen failure. And it will be what faces British Prime Minister Gordon Brown after this week's London conference on Afghanistan.

When I helped prepare a similar event in London in 2006, there was a real sense that post-Taliban Afghanistan was moving from the era of liberation towards a period of development. Elections had been held, parliament constituted, the Taliban defeated and the Kabul government was thought to be hitting a halting, but stable, stride. It made sense to bestow upon President Karzai renewed international legitimacy and to set out a new agenda both for him and his foreign helpmates.

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