Tag Archives: Hamid Karzai

Current Event Cat of the Day: Freed Afghan Detainees

Current Event Cat - Afghan Detainees

The Afghan government has released 65 detainees that the U.S. military believes are dangerous insurgents who were directly involved in attacks on American and allied troops.

The sixty-five detainees were released from Afghanistan’s high-security Bagram detention centre on Thursday morning and were taken away in vehicles belonging to the Afghan National Army’s military police. The police vehicles then took the prisoners to a small bazaar on a main road, where they were transferred to taxis – presumably on route to some kind of Taliban training camp

The prisoners’ newfound freedom comes after months of failed negotiations by U.S. officials to stop their release. The U.S. pleaded with Afghan President Hamid Karzai not to go through with it, arguing that those freed are likely to rejoin Taliban ranks.

The American military expressed “strong concern about the potential threats these detainees pose to coalition forces and Afghan security forces and civilians”.

“We believe some of the individuals previously released have already returned to the fight,” an American statement said. “Additional released detainees may continue to fill the ranks of the insurgency.”

But Karzai, a strong proponent of biting the hand that feeds you, said the releases were of “no concern to the U.S.” and insists there is not enough evidence against the detainees. Despite having referred to the prison as a “Taliban-making factory”, Karzai asserted that “Afghanistan is a sovereign country” and “the Afghan government bears responsibility for the results of its decision.”

Now America can only hope that the released detainees will wind up at the training camps where instructors use live explosives to demonstrate how to be a suicide bomber. Or that they were innocent in the first place and will just return to their civilian lives.

Meanwhile President Karzai continues to refuse to sign a security deal with Washington that would allow roughly 10,000 U.S. troops remain in the country past 2014. If he doesn’t sign the deal, the US-led international military force in Afghanistan will be forced to pull out their troops and hand over all security duties to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. Fine, but can we at least have that dog back?

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai Doesn’t Trust The U.S. And The Feeling Might Be Mutual…

Hamid Karzai

As the U.S and Afghanistan try to hammer out a new post-2014 security deal, President Hamid Karzai tells tribal leaders that he does not trust the United States.

Afghan elders, also known as the Loya Jirga, are currently debating the new security pact, which outlines a broad, long term relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan. If the deal is passed, it would commit the U.S. to training Afghan security forces, allowing 10,000 – 15,000 foreign troops – mostly U.S. – to remain in the country post 2014. Under the proposed pact the remaining US troops would not operate in combat missions and would no longer be allowed to enter the homes of Afghans – with some exceptions.

Hamid Karzai urged the delegates to approve the new security deal, which he believes would provide the security Afghanistan needs. But Karzai also told the elders that there was a lack of trust between him and the Americans.

My trust with America is not good,” Hamid Karzai said at a meeting of tribal elders and political leaders in Kabul. “I don’t trust them and they don’t trust me. During the past 10 years, I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me.”

Despite his lack of trust, Karzai also stressed the importance of strategic ties with Washington.

We need a good friend in the U.S. You cannot live in this global village without a friend – but you need to have a strong, faithful friend.”

Enough with the mixed messages Karzai!

Karzai said the pact would not be signed until after 2014 elections but the United States wants Afghanistan to hurry it up.

State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We believe that signing sooner rather than later is essential to give Afghans certainty about their future before the upcoming elections, and enable the United States and other partners to plan for US presence after 2014.

“It is neither practical nor possible for us to further delay because of the uncertainty it would create.”

If the Loya Jirga delegates does accept the pact, it still needs to be approved by both the U.S. and Afghan administrations. But given the weak job Karzai is doing trying to sell this thing, speed might be the least of America’s problems.

Via: NBC News

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Hamid Karzai is Feeling Left Out of the Taliban Talks

Karzai Gets Left Out of Taliban Talks

The United States recently announced that they would officially meet with the Taliban for the first time in Qatar, where the militants have a new overseas office.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai felt left out of the U.S.’s big plan to orchestrate peace talks with Afghanistan and the Taliban. So now, less than 24 hours after the plan was announced, Karzai has angrily decided to boycott the talks with the Taliban unless the process is “Afghan-led”.

Not only is Karzai mad about being left out of the peace process, he’s pretty pissed that the Taliban have a new office is Qatar. Originally he thought the office would be only an “address” for the Taliban in a neutral place but the Taliban are thinking it’s more along the lines of an embassy for a shadow government. He also didn’t approve of the Taliban’s use of its formal name “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” when opening the Doha office. Add in the fact that the U.S is bypassing him and meeting with the Taliban directly and that makes for one angry Karzai.

Initially Karzai called off the talks in a fit of rage but then cooled off a bit and said the Afghan government may participate in the talks but only if the Taliban lowered the office’s profile and the peace process was led by Afghan officials.

“The way the Taliban office was opened in Qatar and the messages which were sent from it was in absolute contrast with all the guarantees that the United States of America had pledged,” said the statement from President Karzai’s office.

“Recent developments showed that there are foreign hands behind the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar. Unless the peace process is led by Afghans, the High Peace Council will not participate in the Qatar negotiations.”

On their end, the Taliban probably don’t really care if Karzai is involved. For years the Taliban have refused to speak to the Afghan government because they consider them to be American “puppets.” They are much more interested in direct talks with American and other Western officials.

But don’t think the U.S and the Taliban are buddy-buddy just yet. Hours after the Taliban talks were announced, four U.S soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack at Bagram air base – courtesy of the Taliban. The U.S. and Taliban announced they will begin the preliminary peace talks in Qatar without the Afghan government but from the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty messy…

Via: The New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day

Current Event Cat - NATO Forces

Current Event Cat of the Day: Troops in Afghanistan have been put at risk after an “inflammatory speech” by President Hamid Karzai, according to Nato’s commander, Gen Joseph Dunford.

Hamid Karzai recently accused the US and the Taliban of colluding to prolong the war in the country. The Afghan President said during a visit by the new U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel that the Taliban were killing Afghan civilians “in service to America.”

Via: Current Event Cats

US in Afghanistan: Go Big or Go Home?

Afghanistan Obama and Karzai

In a White House news conference, Obama and Karzai have declared an end to the majority of combat operations in Afghanistan this spring, with US troops switching to a support role slightly earlier than initially planned.

While most of the 66,000 US troops in Afghanistan are scheduled to leave in 2014, beginning in the spring, US troops are expected to switch to a support role and have Afghan forces take the security lead. As Obama puts it:

“Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission – training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be an historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty.”

Given that the Afghan forces are corrupt, incompetent, and often high, leaving them to combat the continued Taliban insurgency seems like a fantastic idea. Adding insult to injury, deadly insider attacks have now become quite commonplace in Afghanistan. Last year witnessed a sharp rise in attacks on Nato forces by rogue Afghan soldiers, believed to account for about 15% of coalition casualties in 2012.

Obama and Karzai appear to be glossing over this fact, declaring in the White House news conference that the capabilities of the Afghan army are “exceeding initial expectations”. I suppose if the initial expectations were nothing, then this may be true. Or maybe it still wouldn’t be…

In reality, the end of the US presence in Afghanistan is riddled with uncertainty and doubts over whether the Afghan government can build legitimacy and whether Afghan security forces will be capable of fending off the Taliban on their own. With the situation looking as bleak as it is, is there a point of keeping on a limited number of US troops in a support role? If not, the US should just go big or go home. Judging by overwhelming negative public opinion of the war and Obama’s recent risk-adverse cabinet picks, I think they’ll end up going home, leaving an ill-prepared Afghan security force and a soon to be Taliban takeover.

Via: BBC News

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