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Karzai Orders American Forces to Exit Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered special American forces to leave the Wardak province, within two weeks. Keeping reading to find out why?
by Archana Chaudhary

Karzai Orders American Forces to Exit Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given American Special Forces two weeks to leave the key battleground province of Wardak after some U.S. soldiers there were found to have tortured and even killed innocent people, the president's representative said on February 24.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Karzai's representative Aimal Faizi said villagers in the Wardak province had lodged a series of complaints about operations conducted by U.S. Special Forces and a group of Afghans working with them. "The Ministry of Defense was assigned to make sure all American Special Forces are out of the province within two weeks," Faizi said. "After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as U.S. Special Forces, stationed in Wardak province were engaging in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people," Faizi added.

U.S. Special forces are known to conduct operations with Afghan units that are separate from the normal Afghan Army. Because these units are often directly recruited, trained and supported by U.S. Special Forces, they fall outside of Karzai's control. Afghans have long complained of harassment and intimidation at the hands of these forces, some of whom are seen as former criminals and militia members out to settle petty vendettas against tribal enemies.

This latest announcement follows another decree issued by Karzai that banned all Afghan security forces from using NATO air strikes in residential areas, in a bid to curb civilian casualties. That was in response to an operation in Kunar targeting four Taliban members, which resulted in the deaths of ten civilians, including five children, during an air strike.

According to latest media, reports there have been several suspicious incidents leading up to Karzai's announcement. Among them, include the disappearance of nine people and the abduction and inhuman murder of a college student, which prompted Karzai to issue a stern warning. US military officials, however, deny any wrong doing but Karzai who convened a meeting of the Afghan national security council is convinced and from what we hear has enough evidence to prove the involvement.

Karzai's announcement may come as a surprise to many because Karzai's government has always been financially backed by the United States government and presently he has been involved in negotiations with the American government over a Status of Forces Agreement that could result in the possible retention of a sizable US military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

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