World Powers Mull Afghan Exit
But Hamid Karzai thinks it'll be a while before his country's ready
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 6:30 AM CST
Gordon Brown and Hamid Karzai pose for the media as they arrive for the opening session of the Afghanistan Conference at Lancaster House in central London, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010.   (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS)
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(Newser) – Delegates from about 70 nations met in London today to draft an exit strategy for the Afghanistan conflict, which, consensus has it, would involve handing security responsibilities over to local forces and seducing Taliban fighters with jobs and homes. In attendance were everyone from Hillary Clinton to Ban Ki-Moon to NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Gordon Brown called it a “decisive time” for the conflict. “By the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide,” he said.

But Hamid Karzai’s vision seemed a wee bit different; before the conference, he warned that Afghan forces wouldn't be ready to take over for five to 10 years. He also called on Saudi Arabia to take an active hand in peace negotiations that would include “all our countrymen, especially our disenchanted brothers who are not part of al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks.”

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