Afghan President Wants U.S. Troops To Pull Back
After a rash of violence and scandals, Hamid Karzai asks for accelerated withdrawal
The head of state in war torn Afghanistan appears to have grown increasingly impatient with the more than decade-long occupation of his country.
On Thursday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai reportedly demanded a faster transition in the U.S. military’s mission, which would ultimately lead to a faster troop withdrawal.
Karzai wants roughly 90,000 U.S. troops, along with coalition NATO forces, confined to their major military bases by 2013. That request came as Taliban leaders called off peace talks with U.S. military commanders. It's a blow to the U.S. mission, which some say is devolving into "another Iraq."
In 2011, President Barack Obama specified a gradual troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, a plan that would reduce troops to 68,000 by late September. The Obama administration has promised combat troop withdrawal would be complete in 2014.
Many analysts suggest Karzai’s request is colored by the recent massacre of 16 Afghan villagers by a rouge American soldier, which has reignited raucous protests around the country, and just as things were calming from the accidental burning of Qurans by U.S. military service members.
Add to that the violence that followed reports of a video showing U.S. soldiers urinating on dead Afghan rebels and one might understand Karzai’s growing level of impatience.
CNN clarified with a Karzai aid that he isn’t asking that all troops be pulled out completely by 2013 (video below):