Karzai Seeks End to NATO Reconstruction Teams

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Afghanistan

From Judy Dempsey, the New York Times:  President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan called Sunday for the speedy dismantling of NATO-run provincial reconstruction teams, the first time he had made such a demand.

To an audience of foreign ministers and defense experts attending the annual Munich Security Conference, Mr. Karzai also repeated his call for allied governments to stop using private security companies, contending that they, along with the civilian-military reconstruction teams, are an impediment to the central government’s expanding its authority throughout the country.

Mr. Karzai, who is under renewed criticism from Western governments over the corruption scandal engulfing one of the largest banks in the country and involves members of his family, made his remarks to an audience that included Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe.

Donor and coalition countries finance the reconstruction teams directly rather than through the Afghan government because of corruption concerns.

Mr. Karzai was asked several times whether he really wanted the teams to be wound up so quickly. “Yes,” he said.  (photo: Getty)

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