Karzai Seeks Speeded-Up Exit of U.S. Troops
Posted on Apr 19, 2012
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling for an accelerated departure of American forces a day after controversial photos were published showing U.S. soldiers posing with body parts of insurgents. Karzai said a faster turnover to Afghan security forces is the only way to prevent similar “painful experiences” from happening in the future. He also condemned the photos, calling them “inhumane and provocative.”
US military and civilian leaders attempted to douse the latest scandal involving American troops in Afghanistan by swiftly condemning the photographs, published by the Los Angeles Times, which said it had 16 other images it had not made public.
“It is such a disgusting act to take photos with body parts and then share it with others,” Karzai said in a statement from his office that warned previous “similar incidents of odious nature” had sparked an angry reaction among Afghans.
“The president underlines that the only way to put an end to such painful experiences is through an accelerated and full transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” the statement said. It did not address the presence of Afghan police officers, at least one of whom appeared to be posing for the camera, in one of the published photos.
The Taliban, which denounced the photos as “gruesome,” addressed the presence of Afghan soldiers in the pictures. “Some Afghan hirelings ... posed in the photos, at their masters’ orders, to scorn the remains of martyrs,” the militant group said in a public statement.
The photos were taken by U.S. paratroopers in 2010. —TEB
U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan
Hamid Karzai is seeking a quicker transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces.