Tags: NATO Karzai afghan war

Assertive Karzai Bewilders Allies

Thursday, 18 Nov 2010 08:36 AM


With the war at a critical stage, Afghanistan's president is publicly berating his NATO allies, criticizing military tactics and occasionally reminding them that they are not the only players in his country, The Washington Post reports.

President Hamid Karzai's behavior has left his international partners bewildered as they try to decipher his motives - whether he's trying to provoke them, play to a domestic audience or ensure his long-term survival by portraying himself as no puppet of the American-led coalition. All this comes as the NATO alliance prepares to unveil plans that would keep international soldiers at the forefront of the combat role until 2014.

In his most recent outburst, Karzai demanded in an interview last weekend that NATO reduce its military operations and stop what the military believes is its most successful tactic, night raids against suspected Taliban leaders.

NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill, said Karzai's comments were unproductive, especially since they came days before a meeting in Lisbon that is meant to finalize the 2014 target date for a gradual transition of security to Afghan forces.

"Clearly it is not helpful," Sedwill said. "We have different perspectives, that's natural. It is much better if we work those different perspectives out in private."

Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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