The Great New Afghan Hope

Hamid Karzai has survived the Taliban and U.S. friendly fire. Now he faces rebuilding his country

At work last Thursday in the office of his headquarters, a huddle of mud huts in the southern Afghan desert, in Shahwalikot, Hamid Karzai had no reason to be concerned by the rumble of a B-52 bomber overhead. The Americans were his strong supporters. Just outside his window there were U.S. commandos working with anti-Taliban Pashtun fighters. Besides, he had plenty of other things on his mind. The night before, the soft-spoken Pashtun tribal leader had received word that he had been chosen as Afghanistan's interim Prime Minister by the U.N.-sponsored gathering of Afghan factions in Bonn, Germany. And that afternoon...

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