Once U.S. ally, Afghan President Humid Karzai has been under heavy pressure for months to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States and its allies fighting in Afghanistan the last 13 years.
Even after convening a “council of notables” who highly recommended he sign the pact, he has not and now says “will not,” in a speech delivered Saturday.
The pact would enable a force to be trained that would mentor Afghan troops with a marginal number of U.S. Special Forces left behind to hunt down al-Qaida and the Taliban after the U.S. withdrawal is finalized.
Karzai is the lone holdout among 10 candidates running for the presidency in April 5 elections. All would sign the agreement. But Karzai claims he does not want “a commitment to a longer foreign troop presence in his country.”
This incredible statement after thousands of American soldiers and their allies has given their lives to protect his country from al Qaida and the Taliban.
Karzai became America’s “puppet leader” in the wake of the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. He subsequently won two presidential elections in 2004 and 2009.
But Karzai and his corrupt regime now can see the U.S. protection lifting for them personally with an angry Taliban waiting to exact revenge. "I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said.
The Afghan president claims the war was "imposed" on his nation. He told his parliament that security forces were strong enough to defend Afghanistan without the help of international troops.
A slanted view top U.S. military commanders dispute vigorously.
Karzai leaves the political scene next month unable to run for a third term under Afghanistan's constitution.
U.S. Relations with Karzai have reached a downward spiral since his re-election in 2009, when many U.S. officials accused his government of widespread fraud.
Karzai, his ego badly damaged, accused them of interference.
In his Saturday speech, Karzai urged Taliban insurgents to join the peace process. Throughout the speech he referred to his personal “accomplishments” claiming schools were functioning, women’s rights were improved, energy projects were coming online and the Afghan currency had been stabilized.
The gains Karzai mentioned are largely due to the U.S. military presence.
"I know the future president will protect these gains and priorities and will do the best for peace in the country and I, as an Afghan citizen, will support peace and will cooperate," Karzai said.
The outgoing president is a stereotypical politician the U.S. has protected for years (South Vietnam) that now sees his bodyguards leaving him to the wolves.
Time to jump ship.
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