Faced with growing NATO doubts about the 11-year war and hoping to increase government power, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today urged NATO to “expedite” the handover of primary control to security operations to the Afghan government.
Karzai’s comments come as several NATO nations, Britain in particular, are pushing to speed their withdrawals from the nations and hoping to end their portions of the occupation, with most scheduled to be out by the end of 2014 and only the US committed through 2024.
At the same time, the Afghan military’s capabilities are in serious doubt, with massive turnover for security forces as well as a growing number of insider attacks from Taliban infiltrators.
Karzai’s efforts may come at least in part because of his efforts to start negotiations with the Taliban, who have repeatedly spurned his offers saying that his government has no real power and isn’t worth negotiating with. If he can secure more control over the nation, it may convince them he is a “player” is the settlement talks.
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