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Karzai interview
Article added on December 6, 2009
  
On December 6, 2009 in a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour, the Afghan President Karzai (*1957) gave his thoughts about the future strategy in Afghanistan after President Obama decided to send additional 30,000 troops.

As always a brilliant salesman - in fluent English - Hamid Karzai made viewers almost forget that, since December 2004, he has headed a corrupt and incompetent regime, “re-elected” in a fraudulent presidential election.

As the most important points of President Obama's surge strategy, Karzai mentioned
the concentration on protecting the civil population, doubling the economic assistance to Afghanistan and concentrating on the regional aspect of the problem.

He welcomed the new strategy and promised that his country would do everything it can to make it a success.

Amanpour asked Karzai what he thought about the fact that Obama, in his new plan, concentrated on defeating al-Qaida and preventing it from a comeback, whereas defeating the Taliban was not mentioned as a strategic goal.

Karzai answered that those Taliban who are part of al-Qaida, of terrorist networks, need to be defeated. But the thousands of Taliban, who are the majority, who have no such ideological linkage, must be reintegrated in the Afghan society.



Hamid Karzai
said that, for years, he had been working towards an understanding with the Taliban. What he had lacked until now had been a clear understanding or support from his partners for this strategy. With the new strategy by the United States and the other Afghan allies, this has changed.

Karzai mentioned other elements that were needed to make the surge a success, notably full (mutual) trust (between Afghanistan and Pakistan) and cooperation with Pakistan as well as the support and the the inclusion in this process of Saudi Arabia. In the larger picture, Karzai stressed the importance of the support of China, Turkey and all Afghan neighbors as essential for the success of the new Afghan strategy.

Amanpour mentioned that Mullah Omar had repeatedly said that he had no intention to negotiate with the Karzai government. Mullah Omar is the leader of the Afghan Taliban. Karzai stressed that he had repeatedly tried to negotiate with him so that he would participate in the peace building and reconstruction of Afghanistan. However, such a deal had to be backed by the International Community because of the United Nations' sanctions on the Taliban and other relevant issues. Karzai said that, as an Afghan, he wished that Mullah Omar would negotiate with him provided that he renounced on violence and the connection to al-Qaida, that those connections with the terror networks were denounced and renounced, finally that the United States and the other Allies backed the negotiations between the Afghan government and Mullah Omar which, so far, is not the case.

Regarding the 18-month deadline for the exit of U.S. troops, Karzai argued with objectives to be reached. Objective number one is to defeat terrorism is the return of safety and peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the end of terrorism in the West.

Towards those objectives, Karzai said, we need to train and equip the Afghan military forces, to strengthen the Afghan government and to bring Afghanistan back to a self-sufficient economy. Karzai's timeframe however was rather five years than eighteen months, as he confirmed again to Christiane Amanpour. His understanding was that the eighteen months deadline was just the beginning of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, not the end of it. In an case, Afghans would rather like to be sooner than later in charge of their country again. The Taliban should take the new plan as an opportunity to return to their homes.

Sheet music of the Great American Songbook.





Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.