An Inside Look at Hamid Karzai's Rising Woes

In an exclusive TIME interview, the Afghan president concedes, "My problem is perhaps that I'm too much of a democrat for this time of the country's life."

Hamid Karzai is a hard man to see. Even for those who gain access to the Presidential Palace in Kabul, his office is nearly invisible, tucked into the corner of a two-story building and marked only by a plainclothes security guard who sits outside its wooden door holding a machine gun. The interior of the office is adorned with large Afghan rugs, cream-colored sofas and a marble fireplace; behind Karzai's desk is a bookcase that prominently displays the collected writings of George Washington. From the serenity of that perch, it's tempting to gaze down at the blossoming rose garden below and...

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