Karzai Embraces Call for Further US Escalation

Embattled Afghan President Says McChrystal Should Get Additional Troops

by Jason Ditz, September 22, 2009

Still busy fighting growing questions about his government’s legitimacy in the wake of massive voter fraud in last month’s election, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today embraced US General Stanley McChrystal’s request for up to 45,000 more troops for the ongoing conflict, saying it was “the right approach.”

Karzai’s comments were in direct conflict with those made by top members of the Afghan police force, who insist that the further escalation by the United States is only going to add to the perception that the nation is engaged in an occupation, not a nation-building exercise.

General McChrystal has insisted that he needs a massive influx of additional US troops to fight the war, and has cautioned that the war will be lost if he doesn’t get them within a year. President Obama had already committed to a massive escalation upon taking office in January, but insists he hasn’t made a decision on the latest request, which would nearly triple the number of US troops in the nation since his election.

Election monitors say that as many as a third of all the votes cast in favor of Karzai were fraudulent, and massive recounts are underway, which are expected to take months. Karzai has insisted the claims are overblown, and today insisted that holding a run-off vote, as required under the constitution if the recount fails to net him a majority of votes, would be a “betrayal” of the will of the people.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz