Karzai in Washington to beg for foreign aid

American combat troops are supposed to be out of Afghanistan next year and President Karzai wants to make sure that military aid keeps flowing even after the troops depart. Guardian: The Afghan president is on his way to Washington for what is likely to be a tense visit, with the two uneasy allies set to discuss details of a long-term US military presence in the central Asian nation. Hamid Karzai, who will meet Barack Obama, wants Washington to stump up for planes, helicopters, heavy weapons and other advanced military equipment for Afghanistan's still-shaky armed forces. He also wants more aid money to be channelled through ministries rather than spent by western aid agencies. The US president is weighing up how many of its troops should remain in Afghanistan when the Nato-led combat mission there ends in 2014. But any plan needs Afghan approval, and hanging over the discussions is the question of immunity for US soldiers. Iraq's refusal to agree to this condition in...(Read Full Post)