From the New York Times:

For years, the American military has believed that public anger over government-linked corruption has helped swell the Taliban’s ranks, and that Ahmed Wali Karzai played a central role in that corruption. He has repeatedly denied any links to Afghan drug trafficking.

According to three American military officials, in April 2009 Gen. David D. McKiernan, then the top American commander in Afghanistan, told subordinates that he wanted them to gather any evidence that might tie the president’s half brother to the drug trade. “He put the word out that he wanted to “˜burn’ Ahmed Wali Karzai,” one of the military officials said.

The gnashing of teeth over Ahmed Wali Karzai is because of the vacuum he leaves.

Also in Afghanistan, the man who mutilated Aisha, part of the torturers who cut off her nose, has been released. All sorts of excuses are being used, but the reality is that all the U.S. military might and money cannot change the culture of Afghanistan to save the women.

Now, with Pres. Karzai’s half brother dead, someone who was corrupt and also had an important role in negotiations with the Taliban and others, a dead end for the U.S. in Afghanistan seems even more apparent.