Relations between President Karzai’s Afghan government and Washington are at an all-time low. As Richard Holbrooke – President Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan – prepares to make his first visit to the region since being appointed, the BBC’s Ian Pannell in Kabul looks at why the relationship has soured.
Hamid Karzai has become increasingly vociferous in his criticism of American military tactics and has been making half-hearted threats to shift his allegiance to Moscow if he does not get his way.
Washington has yet to publicly declare its hand but a series of well-placed leaks, briefs and snubs have raised the prospect that it could move its support elsewhere in this year’s presidential election.
One Afghan newspaper spoke of “a new cold war”.