Afghans Want (and Got) Greater Control Over U.S. Military Operations
A couple weeks ago, a dispatch from The Associated Press reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had delivered an “11-point plan” to U.S. and NATO officials for “greater Afghan involvement in operations, Afghan approval of where U.S. and NATO troops can be deployed, and an end to arrests and house searches by foreign troops.” Laura Rozen just published an Afghan Ministry of Defense document that looks a lot like that 11-point plan.
What’s interesting is that since this draft apparently went from Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak to a NATO diplomat in Afghanistan on Jan. 10, the Pentagon has gone a fair way toward quietly endorsing its principles. Defense Secretary Bob Gates emphasized putting an “Afghan face” on U.S. military operations. Two weeks ago, Wardak penned an accord with Gen. David McKiernan, the U.S./NATO commanding general in Afghanistan, that integrated U.S.-Afghan planning for operations “throughout all levels,” according to a spokesman for U.S. and NATO forces I talked to.