Afghan tension: ‘US military, CIA out of control’
RT: Just a week after Obama visited Afghanistan to confirm his future commitment to the country, we have yet more news of civilian deaths at the hands of the US military. Just how strong do you think this partnership really is?
Ahmed Quraishi: I think president Karzai will have to learn the hard way that he cannot trust commitments by the US military and the CIA. And when we talk about President Karzai, let’s talk about someone else in Kabul who was complaining quietly about the latest attacks that killed Afghan civilians. I’m talking about American diplomats who actually negotiated the instituted partnership agreement and memorandum of understanding last week that enabled Obama to say that he is moving forward in Afghanistan.
Now, the American diplomats in Kabul are complaining quietly the CIA and the US military by taking actions such as the ones that kill Afghan civilians are undermining the entire body of work, a very hard work over several months that led to the partnership agreement.
And today we have the news that the American ambassador here in Pakistan has actually cut short his assignment here and flown back to Washington because basically the American diplomats here too are complaining that the US military and the CIA are out of control. They do the hard work; they try to work with the Afghan government and the Pakistani government. But when it comes to the US military and the CIA, they destroy everything.
So basically what you see happening right now in Kabul is that President Karzai is in the same position as the US State Department and the US diplomats are in Kabul, which is basically: they cannot trust the US military, they cannot trust the CIA.
RT: You are blaming or these Americans who are working in Afghanistan are blaming the military and the CIA. I was under the impression that the most recent deaths and the most recent trouble were due to unilateral drone strikes. But you are saying it is much bigger equation than just that?
AQ: You have to understand one thing: NATO probably has not much to do with these civilian Afghan deaths. It is the US military and the CIA that is running the drones program. And basically actions by the US military and the CIA drag the entire NATO and also the American diplomats and their allied Afghan government into trouble with the Afghan people.
So basically the main problem, the major problem in Afghanistan and also in Pakistan by the ways is the US military and the CIA. They are out of control. And today we have somebody as senior as the American ambassador to Pakistan basically relinquishing his assignment. And he is not the first by the way. He is probably the fourth or the fifth senior diplomat over the past ten years (since 2002) to cut short his assignment.
RT: Just about a week ago we had the American President there congratulating his troops on a job well done saying that they are in a process of having peace talks with Taliban, although they are also targeting the Taliban. Is that just a political rhetoric? I thought America was winning a war on terror?
AQ: Absolutely not. I think the Americans are facing an embarrassing defeat in Afghanistan. The civilian deaths we are seeing right now in Afghanistan are one sign of their desperation. They are using all out disproportionate force really to get at what they see as Afghan resistance or Afghan fighters.
So basically these are the real signs of defeat. And I think this problem is going to be exacerbated over the next few months. And President Karzai as I said at the start will learn the hard way that he cannot really work with or trust commitments the US military and the CIA enter into.