Clinton Defends U.S. Afghanistan Raids After Karzai Asks To Pare Down
After Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai asked the United States to reduce its raids in Afghanistan, they are being defended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“On President Karzai’s concerns, we … share these concerns. We’ve discussed them on a number of occasions,” Clinton told reporters. “But we believe that the use of intelligence-driven, precision, targeted operations against high-value insurgents and their networks is a key component of our comprehensive civlian-military operations.”
…Karzai said that he wanted American troops off the roads and out of Afghan homes and that the long-term presence of so many foreign soldiers would only worsen the war. His comments placed him at odds with U.S. commander Gen. David H. Petraeus, who has made capture-and-kill missions a central component of his counterinsurgency strategy, and who claims the 30,000 new troops have made substantial progress in beating back the insurgency.
“The time has come to reduce military operations,” Karzai said. “The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan . . . to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.”
He described his own deep skepticism with American policy in Afghanistan – from last year’s presidential election, which he said was manipulated by U.S. officials, to his conviction that government corruption has been caused by billions of American dollars funneled to unaccountable contractors. And he said Afghans have lost patience with the presence of American soldiers in their homes and armored vehicles on their roads.
Karzai says he wants a long-term relationship with the United States, but questions how contracts are being doled out to relatives of government officials, in addition to the disruptive nature of America’s presence.Click here for reuse options!
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