Ret. Gen.: Massacre Could Force US From Afghanistan in Weeks

Karzai Demands to Confine Troops to Base Could Mean Pullout

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Retired Major General James A. Marks, the senior intelligence officer during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, said that the fallout from last weekend’s massacre could force a withdrawal from Afghanistan in a matter of weeks.

“It’s not inconceivable that that could happen,” Marks said, noting that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s demand for occupation troops to remain confined to base could dramatically change the mission.

Karzai demanded NATO confine its troops on Thursday, during a meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Panetta has been among the officials who insist that there will be no policy changes because of the massacre.

But they may not have a choice in the matter, as reports emerge that the Afghan parliament unanimously passed a resolution to abandon the current agreed upon terms of engagement for US troops (the Afghan War’s equivalent of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)), and is just waiting for Karzai to sign it. The resolution was passed because the US claimed the massacre suspect, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, was immune from Afghan prosecution for the killings.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.