This is nothing unusual. It has helped us a lot, it has solved lots of our problems. We appreciate it. …This is cash. It is the choice of the U.S. government. If tomorrow the State Department decides to give us such cash, I’d welcome that, too.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Responding to criticisms of cash payments (reportedly literal bags of cash), sent from the CIA directly to Karzai’s presidential palace in Kabul. Karzai suggested that the money was used for such diverse purposes as paying off warlords, funding scholarships and tending to wounded members of the presidential guard, though this explanation leaves unattended the main criticisms that have been waged at both his administration and the CIA over this — corruption, opacity, and accountability. Both present and former Afghan sources indicated in reports last week that the cash amount delivered in this manner, over the last decade or so, totaled tens of millions of dollars, while Karzai himself said they were “not allowed to disclose” the official figure. source
Afghan security forces have the ability to keep the security in rural areas and in villages on their own.
Afghan leader Hamid Karzai • Saying in a statement that he wants international troops out of Afghan villages for good, in the wake of a deadly shooting of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier. In related news, peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and U.S. broke down Thursday.
The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan … to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Suggesting that the U.S. needs to scale back its military operations in Afghanistan so as to encourage a less volatile situation in the country. The U.S. doesn’t plan to change course, however: “We understand President Karzai’s concerns,” an anonymous military official (the best kind!) said, “but we would not be as far along as we are pressuring the network had it not been for these very precision operations we do at night.” Karzai claims he made the comments to encourage more candor between the two countries, which have often had a “grudging” relationship in the past. source(via • follow)