Karzai Calls for ‘New Relationship’ With Foreign Troops

Opposes US Use of Contractors

Repeating calls from late last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai again called for a “new relationship” with foreign troops today, saying that he hoped to have an actual document governing the operations of the troops inside Afghanistan moving forward.

In the interview, Karzai also said he wanted to review the situation of the hundreds of detainees held at the US-run prison at Bagram, and that they should be released unless there is some actual evidence against them, saying the arrests are turning Afghans against the eight-year long war.

He also declared that his government was “completely against the mushroom of private security firms” such as those used by the US during its Iraq War. The US Army has recently been soliciting information from contractors to provide security at its bases and outposts across the war-torn nation.

Karzai faces dozens of opponents in the upcoming presidential election. Though his popularity has waned, it still appears no single candidate has stepped up to seriously challenge him, and the real question is if he can get enough votes to avert a run-off vote.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.