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Obama picked least worst option for Afghanistan – former diplomat

The speech reflected Obama deliberation over a series of possibilities, all of which were bad, and he selected the least worst of them, says Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff at the US Department of State.

US President Obama’s address on December 1 at the West Point Military Academy in New York was “sane, sober and somber” Wilkerson said.

“You cannot want something more in a country than the government of that country wants it – illegitimate or legitimate,” he said, adding “we tried that in Vietnam. In the case of Vietnam it was largely illegitimate and we paid for it.”

“I am afraid that increasingly in Afghanistan it is largely illegitimate and I think the recent elections proved that,” Wilkerson went on. "It remains to be seen whether or not Karzai [Afghanistan’s president] can establish, in the short time he has left with major international support, some sort of legitimacy.”

The joke in the Afghan capital, he said, is “Karzai controls less and less – of Kabul.” And that’s a “pretty difficult joke to laugh at” Wilkerson said.