Leader: President Hamid Karzai
What Obama wants: A crackdown on corruption and more calibrated negotiations with low-level Taliban adherents who accept the constitution and women's rights.
What Karzai wants: Less pressure to crack down on corruption and more freedom to negotiate with senior Taliban leaders.
Outlook: Loggerheads. Every significant U.S. official from Obama down has tried to build ties with Karzai to make him a more reliable ally. Unless General David Petraeus can work his magic on the enigmatic and ineffectual leader, any American success in Afghanistan will almost certainly arrive despite Karzai rather than because of him.