Inside recent difficulties between Karzai and US
What is the latest in Afghanistan situation?
- Duration 5:49
- Date Mar 19, 2013
What is the latest in Afghanistan situation?
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They -- marking ten years since the start.
Of the war in Iraq.
If I remember some of these images -- videos from 2003.
Explosions going off in -- shocking not campaign as it was called.
In the meantime US troops are still fighting in Afghanistan as preparations are underway to withdraw by the end of next year.
But figuring out what to do after that is an easy in -- -- winners on time between now and then.
-- top US military chief in Afghanistan now says his team is working as fast as possible to resolve some of the controversial issues that have emerged.
-- between the United States in the country's president there Hamid Karzai our next guest just got back -- and I thought hammonds a senior fellow of foreign policy cities.
At the Brookings Institution -- you literally just got back from Afghanistan Michael says it's great to have you back on the program.
Thanks Janet nice to be with you -- tenth trip there.
What's your big take away this time around.
Well there -- two takeaways in the first I don't think we'll surprise to many people because it's been in the headlines the obvious difficulty with President Karzai.
And the United States I got a little more of a feel for what's behind that but -- need to say is simply that.
Most Afghans are very worried about president Karzai's behavior because even if they understand some of why he's made he's critical comments.
They value the US relationship so much.
That they really hate the idea.
President Karzai for whatever reason.
Its demise a war it's premature curtailment.
Because he's upset now there are some reasons I think make it easier to understand why Karzai's acted this way I don't justify or excuse it but.
Most Afghans are very concerned because they so value the US Afghan relationship that's my take away on the politics side.
The other big thing on the politics side of course is that everyone starting today.
Debate the elections in Afghanistan which -- a year away but everyone's wondering who will run and whether Karzai will be able to.
Essentially orchestrate a victory for his preferred candidate and who that would be that's just sort of gossip and that's beginning in full steam.
The other main take away on the military side is that things are actually substantially better than I expected.
Not because we're winning the war on our watch.
But because the Afghan army and police are increasingly capable of taking the baton from us and taking the fight to the enemy themselves more than I expected -- And in a way that still fragile but very encouraged.
Talk a little bit about that that final point -- a lot of interesting things there what what does victory look like in Afghanistan and are we achieving it by by it whenever.
What ever rode to victory there -- Good question and unfortunately the answer I think is no in the short term.
I don't see a path towards victory we've had the best alliance in military and world history.
Unable to defeat the tally -- for whatever reason -- a few reasons including Pakistan's role including.
How much the Afghan government itself is still somewhat unpopular including the nature of Afghanistan the remote areas -- people tend to be.
Wary of foreigners and even their own government.
But beyond that I think that we are seeing the Afghan army and police really able to take the main responsibility from us they are now leading.
Of all operations.
Couple years ago the figure was reversed.
They are now taking 75% of all casualties and while that's not.
By itself a proof of -- -- -- -- the anecdotes that I heard in the field where that yes the Afghan army really does fight.
In fact I heard a few people say these are a lot better than Iraqis they fight a lot harder than Iraqis.
And we like working with them and the more we want to give -- responsibility the more they relish it and take it off.
So that -- story was actually more encouraging on this trip of -- as you say my tenth.
That I had ever heard before and that is the big positive take away from the trip.
What about Pakistan when we talk about -- biggest threats to national security.
And the most evil ever enemies.
What's going on there especially in the travel areas -- and how how are those areas -- same difference.
Then let's -- your first second third trip to Afghanistan are we doing any better -- -- the -- anymore.
Well unfortunately and -- latter question the answer is now I mean the most notable thing is just how resilient this Pakistan problem has been.
And how unable or unwilling or both the pakistanis have been to really deal with it themselves.
It on your first question what's behind it what's motivating them you know I really think to be implied that the pakistanis are fundamentally on both sides of this war.
Because -- don't really believe that we're gonna stay long enough to be successful in establishing.
A stable Afghan government and so they want to have a tally bond auction as their back up plan.
And they also probably why the tally -- even if we do succeed.
To be able to put some pressure on any Indian consulates businesses.
Intelligence operatives who might try to take.
Foot in Afghanistan as you know the pakistanis have a very intense rivalry with India I would say -- verges on paranoid at times.
And any kind of Indian presence in Afghanistan they see the worst possible motive behind.
Tonight I think they want the -- bond to be able to actually go after that Indian presence violently in the future.
And so the Pakistan -- you know they're very tough.
There are some ways in which they collaborate and people are a little happier with the relationship right now the -- let's say were a year ago.
But overall it hasn't improved from 34 years ago very much at all and I really think the pakistanis are sort of playing both sides of the fence.
Let's -- it's only complicated situation but if if that's where the enemy is right now.
If there is a longer conversation -- and Michael we hope to wrap this to have you back to continue that conversation thanks for the time appreciated as always thank you Jenna my pleasure.