The tug of war between Kabul and Washington has become so desperate, former CIA Near East, South Asia Chief Dr. Charles Cogan recently opined that the situation was fast approaching a “Diem Moment.” Cogan even suggested that while Diem’s removal had been “horribly botched,” “a removal of Mr. Karzai might turn out to be more straightforward.” Given the similarities to America’s quagmire in Vietnam, invoking Diem raises more than a few dark memories. Yet despite vast differences in the two wars another even more deeply unsettling similarity is emerging. Hamid Karzai is in a political fight for his life like South Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem. But (strange as it might seem) his contradictory behavior and the chaos and corruption surrounding it may be no accident. In fact it could be exactly the consequence that his main neoconservative backer, former RAND director, U.S. Ambassador and Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, had long intended.