Archive for February 25, 2013

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan President Wants U.S. Special Operations Out

Special Operators Told to Leave

Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Army file foto.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Army file foto.

U.S. Special Operations forces are getting the boot from a strategically important Afghan province outside the capital.

On Sunday (Feb. 24), Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered all U.S. special operations troops out of Wardak Province southwest of Kabul, the capital. Karzai blamed “this suspicious force,” in a statement issued by his office for “harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people,” the Washington Post and other news outlets reported. A Karzai spokesman, seeking to clarify that statement, said the Kabul government actually blamed Afghans “working within these Special Forces groups” for the abuses.

The strategically significant, central province of Wardak has been the recent focus of counter-insurgency operations, noted the BBC.

The Afghan statement said all special operations forces must be gone from Wardak in two weeks.

NATO said Monday it has found no evidence to support Karzai’s allegations, CNN reported. The U.S. military has said it is investigating and officials of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force plan to hold talks about the allegations with Afghan officials.

Karzai’s demand is “an ominous development for future U.S. and NATO plans, which are expected to rely heavily on special operations forces to take on a greater role as the bulk of conventional forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan” in 2014, according to The Long War Journal.

Wardak Province is located below and to the left of Kabul in the map below.

Institute for the Study of War map

Institute for the Study of War map

February 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment


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