Nation Contributing Editor Christian Parenti joins Laura Flanders on GRITtv to talk about Af-Pak strategy in the wake of Obama’s conference with Karzai in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Flanders notes that Obama and Karzai both looked like they were “busy conciliating,” but she wanted to know what was really going on beneath the surface. Parenti explains that Obama’s conference was “domestic theater,” because he was “trying to appeal to the sensibilities of the US electorate and look tough and pretend to be fighting a more credible, better planned war.” But the reality on the ground, Parenti says, is “quite hopeless.”

“On the ground you have escalation without any clear strategy, particularly in Pakistan,” Parenti explains. “The war then becomes it’s own problem…The situation is sort of self-feeding.” Parenti goes on to explain that the US is really involved in nation-building but without a credible partner because “Karzai is sitting atop a massive, dysfunctional kleptocracy, and this is a matter in the mainstream news now.”

—Morgan Ashenfelter