Afghan Officials Struggle to Calm Tensions After Karzai Criticizes War

Officials Assure Petraeus that Karzai Is 'Fully Supportive' of War Strategy

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made his political career, at least from a foreign policy perspective, around criticizing the US war effort and the massive civilian deaths that result. This makes it something of a surprise that this weekend’s comments sparked such fury among US officials.

But they did, and General David Petraeus even warned Karzai that the criticism was harming the war and that it had better not happen again. Karzai had called for the US to reduce the intensity of combat operations, and end the policy of night raids which have caused such public outcry.

Now, with the US having chastised the Afghan President for what was a decidedly in-character criticism of policy, the Afghan government is scrambling to calm tensions and to reassure Gen. Petraeus that Karzai is firmly behind the endless war.

Karzai spokesman Wahid Omer said he promised Petraeus that the president is “fully supportive” of the current war strategy and said that officials on both sides have agreed to “forget about it.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of