News / USA

    Petraeus-Karzai Dispute Reflects Varied Perspectives, Says Pentagon

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, talks alongside General David Petraeus, U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, at Kabul International Airport (FILE).
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, talks alongside General David Petraeus, U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, at Kabul International Airport (FILE).

    The public differences between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, over the Afghan war strategy comes from their different roles and perspectives on the conflict, the Pentagon said Monday, adding that they will continued to work throught them.

    Their disagreements have simmered for months.  

    President Karzai wants private security companies to leave his country almost immediately.  But General Petraeus says they are necessary for some additional period.

    President Karzai wants an end to military raids on the homes of suspected Afghan insurgents.  General Petraeus considers the raids an essential part of his counterterrorism effort.

    President Karzai told The Washington Post newspaper, over the weekend that he wants a reduction in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and that he wants the remaining troops to stay on their bases as much as possible.  General Petraeus says any drawdown will be based on security conditions and the capabilities of Afghan security forces, and that at the moment, they do not allow for a reduction.  On the pace of military operations, Petraeus frequently notes that it is only during the last few months that he has had enough forces to conduct the level of operations he believes is necessary to defeat the insurgency.

    In a separate article published in The Post Monday, U.S. officials are quoting  as saying that General Petraeus expressed "astonishment and disappointment" at President Karzai's most recent remarks, and that the president's attitude could make the general's position "untenable."

    But a Pentagon spokesman U.S. Marine Corps Colonel David Lapan indicated Monday that he sees the disagreements as understandable.  

    "General Petraeus has a perspective based on his mission," he said. "And President Karzai has a perspective based on his role as the leader of Afghanistan."

    Lapan said that senior Pentagon officials want the general and the Afghan president to work out their differences in Kabul.

    "This is something that the leadership in Kabul, NATO, General Petraeus and the Karzai government will sort out.  Some of the concerns expressed by President Karzai are not unknown to us.  They are things that we have heard in the past.  So they continue to work through those," said Lapan.

    President Karzai will have a chance to make his case directly to President Barack Obama and other coalition leaders at the NATO summit in Lisbon this week.  And although he might find sympathy for his goals, he may not find much support for his calls for major and immediate changes in allied operations.

    For example, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that "intelligence-driven, precision-targeted operations against high-value insurgents and their networks is a key component" of allied military operations.

    "We believe that these operations are in the best interest of the Afghan people, the Afghan government and the ISAF troops who are working with their Afghan counterparts to secure the country," she said.

    Clinton also said Afghan forces participate in the operations and that "they are having a significant impact on the insurgent leadership and the networks that they operate."  She said U.S. leaders share many of President Karzai's concerns and goals, and that NATO has modified some of its tactics to ease Afghan concerns.  But she said that any major changes, like a troop reduction or decreased operations, will be based only on security conditions and the capabilities of the Afghan forces.  

    Many of the leaders who will attend the NATO summit, including President Obama, would be only too happy to reduce their troop levels in Afghanistan, along with their operating tempo and casualties.  And Mr. Obama has said the process will begin next July.  But he and other leaders have expressed concern that moving too quickly would erase the gains that this year's troop increase has helped achieve.

    It is a fine line for all of the leaders to walk, particularly with strong opposition to the war among many Europeans and President Karzai's statement that the Afghan people want the foreign troops out, too.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora