The Associated Press is reporting:  “President Hamid Karzai pressed America’s top military leader Monday on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan as it prepares to pour up to 30,000 more forces into the country. Karzai asked Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, what kinds of operations the newly deployed troops would carry out and said the Afghan government should be consulted about those operations.”

The sovereign country of Afghanistan is asking politely that it be consulted regarding military operations carried out by the US on its soil and that will undoubtedly kill large numbers of its citizens.  There is not even a fiction being floated of plucky Afghans seeking American help to establish a viable democracy so they can be free of Islamofascist tyranny.  Meanwhile, Karzai is negotiating with the Taliban since he can read the tea leaves as well as anyone in Afghanistan, even if Admiral Mullen and the incoming Obamas cannot.

Meanwhile in Iraq the US is insisting on its right to maintain combat troops in the Iraqi cities after next summer by relabeling them and is also suggesting that the deadline for the withdrawal of all soldiers might not be firm.  Both comments surprised the Iraqi leadership, which might have reacted more strongly if it had not been preoccupied with locking up political opponents in advance of next month’s elections.

Does anyone in Washington know how to play this game?