Karzai: Criticism Aimed to ‘Correct’ US Ties

Admits to Growing Strains With NATO Forces

by Jason Ditz, March 14, 2013

With tensions growing with the NATO occupation forces, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has issued a statement today insisting his weekend criticisms of the US military’s operations were aimed at “correcting” the relationship, as opposed to making it worse.

In the comments, Karzai faulted the CIA for kidnapping and torturing an engineering student in Kandahar, and accused the US military leadership of “collusion” with the Taliban to keep the war going.

Karzai apparently hoped that pointing this out would convince the US to knock it off, but it instead sparked a major row in relations, with General Dunford condemning his “inflammatory” comments and putting the military on alert.

Such rows are not unusual between the US and Karzai, but the student torture is a notable incident because it is well documented and Karzai seems to have a legitimate gripe about it, one which the US doesn’t want to address. Still it shows this “relationship strain” is not just Karzai making up stories, but rather that the US military is increasingly out of control on the ground and is alienating the Afghans.

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