The risk for the US is that the imposition of a technocrat alongside Karzai would be viewed as colonialism, even though that figure would be an Afghan.Golly, ya think? Whoever the US installs is going to be seen as a puppet, the US's man, and will have zero credibility except as an errand boy with the power to dispense American dollars and aid.
Speaking of which, the report also states that the US plans to largely maneuver around the central government and funnel aid directly to local authorities (perhaps like some of those human-rights-loving local warlords of whom the US has been so fond?). As the report also notes - and as Mr. Obama said this evening on Sixty Minutes - the US mission in Afghanistan is from here on out going to focus on ensuring that al-Qaeda and its ilk can never use that country as a base from which to attack the US and "its interests." Perhaps we ought not be surprised, but despite all the talk of "real change," what's taking shape is another iteration of what's been US policy in the Middle East and Central Asia for decades: stability comes first, democracy and human rights come second. Of course, given the US's current economic predicament (which shows no real sign of turning around), this kind of fixing comes cheaper (although, I fear, it may not be especially cheap in the lives of American military, or civilians) and certainly reflects a well-considered pragmatism. But if it also entails deliberately undermining the authority of a central government and empowering at the local level some unsavory characters who hardly embody "American" values of democracy and humanity . . . well, the term "blowback" comes to mind, among others.
This, my friends, is going to be a very long and very bumpy ride.