On Karzai's Agenda for US Visit: Complaints

Afghan president has list of demands

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 7, 2013 1:47 PM CST

(Newser) – Hamid Karzai will be in DC this week, and the visit sounds like it will be a less-than-pleasant one for President Obama. The Washington Post details the list of complaints Karzai will want to discuss, chief among them Karzai's belief that the US is violating his country's sovereignty as well as fostering corruption by approving contracts with what his spokesman calls "warlords who use the money for their own gains." Karzai also wants full control of the Parwan military prison, a stronger air force, a guarantee of protection from insurgents across the border, and no more US military operations in villages.

Karzai's advisers say he's going public with his demands because he hasn't made any headway in private meetings with US officials. They add that he'll agree to a long-term US presence in his country only if he gets what he wants on at least some of these issues. "The world needs us more than we need them," says his chief of staff. While Karzai is in Washington, he'll speak at George Washington University, where he may discuss his belief that the US and NATO have failed to make Afghanistan more secure and have actually made the situation there worse. In the end, though, Karzai's advisers say a post-2014 US presence is in Afghanistan's best interests, and his leverage in the US is limited.

In this May 2, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai walk together after they signed a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In this May 2, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai walk together after they signed a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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