Afghanistan needs a legitimate leader who can unify the nation -- one that is chosen by the Afghan people according to Afghan custom, as opposed to being handpicked by U.S. diplomats or as the result of fraudulent elections.
The much-heralded four-day visit by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the United States was a bust. Far from a new beginning, all this week's Obama-Karzai summit delivered was more of the same: renewed American commitments repaid with empty rhetoric from the Afghan president.
Not only does Pakistan want to preserve its own neck, it wants to be a major player in post-war Afghanistan, and if working with the U.S. to rein in the Taliban is what it takes to accomplish that, then that is the I.S.I.'s new mission.