Doing A Maliki: Karzai Demands Timetable In Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for a timetable to end the occupation of Afghanistan by Western forces or if not, said that the West must a

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for a timetable to end the occupation of Afghanistan by Western forces or if not, said that the West must accept negotiations with the Taliban to end bloodshed there.

President Hamid Karzai told a visiting U.N. Security Council delegation Tuesday that the international community should set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.

It appeared to be the first time Karzai has called for a time limit on the international effort to defeat Taliban militants and raise a stable and competent Afghan security force and government.

"If there is no deadline, we have the right to find another solution for peace and security, which is negotiations," Karzai was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

Spencer Ackerman has the essential analysis, as usual. Although he thinks that Karzai is indeed trying to box the US and its allies into accepting a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, Spencer also writes:

My first instinct is that this is a measure to shore up Karzai’s waning support among war-weary Pashtuns. But could he really mean there ought to be a set date on ending the Afghanistan war? One thing that’s been entirely missing from the policy debate on Afghanistan — in the U.S., in NATO, in Afghanistan — is that no one even pretends to think about how the war is supposed to end. No one knows the endgame, and no one even proposes endgames.

Brian Beutler is right - it's about time someone in the West did start talking about an Afghanistan endgame and that someone is Barrack Obama. He was right about needing one in Iraq, something the Bush administration has belatedly signed on to in an embarassing climbdown. Now here's an opportunity for some more much-needed foresight and international leadership.

Crossposted from Newshoggers

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