Rumsfeld: US-Afghan Relationship Gone 'Downhill Like a Toboggan'

Image: Rumsfeld: US-Afghan Relationship Gone 'Downhill Like a Toboggan'

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 08:02 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has blasted the Obama administration for the deterioration of America's relationship with Afghanistan, describing it as having "gone downhill like a toboggan" ever since President Barack Obama took office.

Speaking on "On the Record with Greta van Susteren" on Fox News Monday, Rumsfeld also criticized the White House for failing to put in place a status of forces agreement with Afghanistan, which he believes would have been straightforward to achieve, Politico reported.

"We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world," Rumsfeld said. "This administration, the White House, and the State Department have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius."

Rumsfeld, who served under George W. Bush at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, said relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been "first rate," but have gone "downhill like a toboggan" under Obama.

"United States diplomacy has been so bad, so embarrassingly bad, that I'm not the least bit surprised that he felt cornered and is feeling he has to defend himself in some way or he's not president of that country," Rumsfeld said, referring to Karzai's badmouthing of U.S. officials.
"We have mismanaged that relationship," he said, according to Politico.

Rumsfeld also reserved particular criticism for top members of the Obama administration, including the president, for public comments they made against the Afghan president.

"They have trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over," Rumsfeld said. "[Richard] Holbrooke, the special envoy, did. Vice President [Joe] Biden did. Secretary Hillary Clinton has. The president has been unpleasant to him. And it seems to me they put him in a political box where he really has very little choice."


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