I had written sometime back about the bad news coming out of Afghanistan. My expectation is that Karzai and the Afghan National Army (ANA) would not fare well after the international forces pull out of Afghanistan. Now comes a story in the New York Times that Taliban attacks are increasing and that the ANA is bearing the brunt of the attacks as the international forces increasingly leave their combat role. It is not clear how the ANA is doing in these attacks, but the limited data in the story does not sound good. More ANA soldiers seem to have died last year than the year before.
India, Russia and maybe even the US and Iran need to focus on rebuilding some opposing forces that can counter the Taliban when -- not if -- they take over. The nucleus of a new Northern Alliance can be parts or elements of the current ANA, but unless this is done before the international forces withdraw, it will be quite difficult to do much. But the political paralysis in all these capitals on the issue is a huge stumbling block. The attitude appears to be to hope for the best and prepare for nothing.