Karzai not happy with Obama over being left out of the loop on POW exchange
The US government kept the government of Afghanistan in the dark about the negotiations and subsequent deal to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and President Hamid Karzai is fuming about it.
Gee...you'd think we didn't trust them to keep a secret, or something...
The Afghan president is angry at being kept in the dark over a deal to free five Taliban leaders in exchange for a captured U.S. soldier, and accuses Washington of failing to back a peace plan for the war-torn country, a senior source said on Monday.
The only known U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Bergdahl had been held captive for five years.
"The president is now even more distrustful of U.S. intentions in the country," said the source at President Hamid Karzai's palace in Kabul, who declined to be identified.
"He is asking: How come the prisoner exchange worked out so well, when the Afghan peace process failed to make any significant progress?"
Karzai has backed peace talks with the hardline Islamist Taliban movement, which ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 and has fought a bloody insurgency since then against U.S.-led forces in the country.
But they have come to little so far, and the group has moved swiftly to dash hopes that the prisoner swap would rekindle peace talks between it and the Afghan government.
"It won't help the peace process in any way, because we don't believe in the peace process," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Sunday.
Why should the Taliban believe in the "peace process" when the whole blooming country is going to fall into their laps after the US leaves anyway?
Karzai has yet to comment publicly on a swap that is bound to deepen the mistrust of a leader who has been fiercely critical of the U.S. administration in recent years.
He is due to step down as president later this year, but many Afghans believe Karzai will continue to wield considerable influence over policy from behind the scenes.
Karzai's press office said in a statement that the U.S. deal to transfer five Taliban militants from a Guantanamo Bay jail to Qatar violated international law.
"No government can transfer citizens of a country to a third country as prisoners," said the statement, issued on behalf of the foreign ministry.
The prisoner swap has stoked widespread anger in Afghanistan, where many view it as a sign of a U.S. desire to disengage from the country as quickly as possible.
Washington has mapped out a plan to fully withdraw all of its troops by the end of 2016.
Karzai's refusal to sign a status of forces agreement led directly to the US withdrawal plan. What did he expect we'd do? His tenure as president has been marked by fecklessness and an inability to maintain a consistent policy. He swings wildly between cajoling the US to do more, and berating America for domestic political reasons.In short, he has been a disaster and anything he gets when we leave - probably the hangman's noose - he deserves.