Karzai Becoming a Paranoid, Unreliable Ally

Insiders say Afghan president thinks US wants to stay indefinitely
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 9:57 AM CDT
Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Tehran.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Tensions are mounting between the US and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who appears to be becoming an increasingly unreliable ally. “Karzai was enraged,” an insider tells the New York Times of Obama's decision to rescind a White House invitation to Karzai over his decision to neuter the independent panel that unearthed fraud in the last election. So he invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Kabul “to spite the Americans.”

In private conversation, insiders paint a picture of an almost paranoid Karzai. “He believes that America is trying to dominate the region, and that he is the only one who can stand up to them,” one says. He also says the US will not allow him to negotiate peace with the Taliban because it wants to keep its troops in country. US officials say they are focused on corruption, and are “coming to terms with dealing with the Karzai we have.”

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