Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been vocally critical of American and N.A.T.O. missions of late, particularly those that put civilians at risk. “Last month, Karzai threatened to attack foreign troops if they did not stop airstrikes that kill civilians, saying that continued strikes would turn the forces from defenders to enemies of the Afghan people.” In response, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, who is leaving the post after two years, has chastised Karzai for his lack of support saying that he risks losing the support of the American public.
What’s the Big Idea?
What influence does this war of words have on the withdrawal of American troops scheduled to begin in July? “Although the Pentagon has argued for a slow drawdown, Obama is under increasing pressure—from the American public, Congress and even some inside the White House—to move more quickly. In addition to the expense of the war, lawmakers have cited the apparent ingratitude of the Afghan people, along with government corruption and incompetence.” Peace talks with the Taliban are scheduled to accompany the withdrawal of American forces in the coming months.