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March 16, 2014 10:05 AM Hamid Karzai Says America Can Go

By Martin Longman

This is just fine with me:

In his final address to Afghanistan’s parliament Saturday, President Hamid Karzai said U.S. soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his military already protects 93 percent of the country and was ready to take over entirely.
He reiterated his stance that he will not sign a pact with the United States that would provide for a residual force of U.S. troops to remain behind.

Except:

All 10 candidates seeking the presidency in the April 5 election have said they would sign the security agreement, but Karzai himself does not appear to want his legacy to include a commitment to a longer foreign troop presence in his country.

It’s my impression that Afghanistan doesn’t have anywhere near the tax base they would need to field an army that could secure 93% of their territory. Hamid Karzai makes less sense than Toronto mayor Rob Ford. But he’s right about one thing.

“I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere,” he said.

We’ve been interfering for 13 years, and it hasn’t served our national interests. It’s time to break the habit.

Martin Longman is the Web Editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune. He has worked as a community organizer for ACORN/Project Vote and as a political consultant for Democracy for America.

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