12 Nov 2009

US ambassador's concerns on Afghanistan leaked

10:09 pm on 12 November 2009

The United States envoy to Afghanistan has written to Washington expressing deep concern over possible deployment of thousands of new troops to the country, according to US media reports.

In a leaked diplomatic cable, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry expressed doubts about the competence of the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai.

The ambassador believes that President Karzai's government should have to show it can tackle insipid corruption that has spurred the Taliban's resurgence.

The cables also expressed worries over his erratic behaviour, according to US officials familiar with the memos.

The correspondence was sent ahead of US President Barack Obama's critical war cabinet meeting at the White House on what course to pursue against the bloody insurgency in the country.

A senior administration source says all four options being considered involve sending more troops.

The meeting comes as a new opinion poll from the Pew Research Centre shows a growing number of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan is not going well, and disapprove of Mr Obama's handling of the situation.