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Karzai says Afghan war not fought in his country's interest: report


(Reuters) - Expressing "extreme anger" toward the U.S. government, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview with the Washington Post that the war in Afghanistan was not fought with his country's interests in mind.

"Afghans died in a war that's not ours,' Karzai said in the interview published on Sunday, just a month before an election to pick his successor.

He was quoted as saying he was certain the 12-year-old war, America's longest and launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001, was "for the U.S. security and for the Western interest."

Karzai's refusal to sign a security deal with Washington that would permit foreign troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond this year has frustrated the White House, and President Barack Obama has told the Pentagon to prepare for the possibility that no U.S. troops will be left in Afghanistan after 2014.

Obama told Karzai in a phone call on Tuesday he had given the order to the Pentagon. The phone call was the first substantive discussion between the two leaders since June.

But staking out a new position, the White House said in a statement it would leave open the possibility of concluding the bilateral security agreement later this year.

"It's good for them to sign it with my successor," Karzai told the Post. He has insisted the United States must jump-start peace talks with Taliban insurgents and end raids and strikes on Afghan homes before he signs the deal.

The NATO-led force in Afghanistan has a current strength of more than 52,000 soldiers, including 33,600 U.S. troops. More than 3,400 coalition forces have been killed in the fight against the Taliban, including more than 2,300 U.S. troops.

While Afghanistan's police and army are seen as having made big strides in their ability to fight militants, doubts remain about whether they can keep a still-potent Taliban at bay, especially in remote areas.

In the interview, the Afghan leader said he was deeply troubled by the war's casualties, including those in U.S. military operations, and felt betrayed by what he described as an insufficient U.S. focus on going after Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan rather than in Afghan villages.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan dissipated his country's "common cause" with the United States, Karzai told the newspaper.

Criticizing his U.S. allies was the only way to secure a response by Washington to his concerns, he added.

The Post said Karzai told his interviewers as he escorted them out of his office on Saturday night: "To the American people, give them my best wishes and my gratitude. To the U.S. government, give them my anger, my extreme anger."

(Writing by Peter Cooney; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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twagner March 03 2014 at 8:50 AM

"Afghans died in a war that's not ours"...You provide safe haven to terrorists that attack us we will fight them on your land. He should feel lucky we didn't turn the mountains where the terrorists and their leader were hiding into green glass.

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Richard March 03 2014 at 8:50 AM

"Afghans died in a war that's not ours" - The US could say the same. To you Mr. Karzai hopefully America will leave your country now with a one finger salute.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
John Johnson March 03 2014 at 8:51 AM

This phony wants to play both sides and will end up beheaded by the scum that we have kept from ruling his country.How much blood and treasure do we waste on his kind?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
David Sessoms March 03 2014 at 8:56 AM

Get the ____ out of Dodge!!!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Happypoolprune March 03 2014 at 9:04 AM

Sure we just gave them 2 billion dollars - so lets take it back and get the He** out of there . Dang politicians can't take care of us here at home but love to take our tax dollars and spend it on afganistan and all those foreign countries. We obtained our objective now it's time to leave - it was time to leave once Bin Laden was done - Mr President - Bring our people home!

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bobtrhn March 03 2014 at 9:06 AM

maybe we haven't sent him enough money yet.

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bobcornerstone March 03 2014 at 9:08 AM

This is typical of any of these muslim countries, is anyone surprised. I wish so bad we could just take care of ourselves and stay out of other countries business. I guess that is just a pipe dream though, when you have defense contractors biting at the bit just to sell more killing machines it doesn't matter who the countries are. We will be our own killer before it is over.

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johntangier March 03 2014 at 9:10 AM


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phunce March 03 2014 at 9:10 AM

nice clothes who paid for them
get our troops out stop supporting these low liv\fes

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General March 03 2014 at 9:10 AM

This war was, indeed, not about his country....it was about rooting out the terrorist bases and the Taliban. Let's get out and let them fend for themselves and revert to their middle-ages primitive life-styles.

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