Complaints on U.S.-led Afghan troops to be checked, Kerry says

LONDON Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:11pm EST

1 of 2. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a question during a joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London on February 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lefteris Pitarakis/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday complaints against Afghans working for U.S. special forces in Afghanistan would be investigated, a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered U.S. troops to leave a critical battleground province.

Karzai's spokesman on Sunday said Karzai had decided that all U.S. special forces must leave Wardak province within two weeks, after accusations that Afghans working for them had tortured and killed innocent people.

The move could further complicate talks between the United States and Afghanistan over the presence of American troops in the country once most NATO forces leave by the end of 2014.

"With respect to Afghanistan and Wardak province, I understand the concerns that they have expressed. And appropriately, any complaints that they may have ought to be appropriately evaluated, and they will be, I can assure you," Kerry told reporters during a visit to London.

Kerry said it was up to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to investigate. On Sunday ISAF said it was aware of the allegations of misconduct but would not comment further until it had spoken to Afghan officials.

In Washington, a U.S. defense official said no ISAF troops themselves were involved in any misconduct, as earlier Afghan statements had alleged.

"In recent months, a thorough review in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and National Directorate of Security has confirmed that no coalition forces have been involved in the alleged misconduct in Wardak province," the official said.

"Because we take these allegations seriously, ISAF and Afghanistan officials have agreed to a joint commission to look into the current concerns of citizens in Maidan Wardak."

Relations between Karzai and his international backers have at times been fraught, with the Afghan president warning that civilian deaths could sap support for foreign troops and fuel the insurgency.

Earlier this month, Karzai said Afghan security forces would be banned from calling for NATO air strikes in residential areas after 10 civilians died in one such strike.

Karzai's anger over the conduct of Afghan troops working with ISAF raises the pressure on Afghan forces as they increasingly assume control of security.

NATO and its partners are racing against the clock to train Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security forces, though questions remain over how well the Afghans will be able tackle the insurgency in the face of intensifying violence.

Kerry said Karzai had "many legitimate evaluations" of where things have gone wrong or could be improved but indicated that negotiations on transition and an agreement on the presence of some U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 were going well.

"We're working on a bilateral security arrangement; we're working on this transition process. We've had a very good conversation with the President (Karzai) in the last days," Kerry said.

(Writing by Mohammed Abbas; Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Michael Roddy and Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (2)
AdamSmith wrote:
The bigger question about the Afghanistan deployment is, Why does America even have a military?

America no longer maintains even its own dangerous border with Mexico, let alone Afghanistan’s borders.

America’s military does not defend America. It defends the military-industrial complex, much of which is owned by wealthy Saudi Arabians, Chinese, and Russian billionaire oligarchs.

The American Immigration Act of 1924 was passed by Congress in order sharply curtail immigration, in order to protect the American working class. The wealthy back then, the great stock and railroad barons, were importing more and more foreign labor to drive down wage rates.

This year, according to the Obama administration, there were approximately 1.5 million new jobs created in the American economy. That’s not much to brag about, but nevertheless, Obama does brag about it.

What is not mentioned is the fact that the number of foreigners allowed to immigrate LEGALLY into the US this year is approximately 1.2 million foreigners. This annual amount has been sharply increasing for the last 10 years, being over 1 million per year. All other nations in the world do not allow substantial immigration.

It gets worse. This Legal immigration number is now set to sharply increase by a new bill just signed by President Obama allowing immigrants to apply to have family members come over, and reduce the paperwork, and increase the numbers.

In other words, America’s anemic economy created only 1.5 million new jobs, yet 1.2 million foreign immigrants were allowed Legally. This does not even count the vastly greater number of Illegal immigrants, from Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Columbia, Brazil, etc, coming illegally across the American border.

Why does America even have a military?

The fact is that the majority of condominiums in South Florida are today being bought by foreigners. Same with New York, same with Los Angeles, same with the entire east and west coastal cities of America. Why does America even have a military.

As of October of 2012, in Shanghai, just one city in China, there are over 370,000 dollar-millionaires, in other words Chinese people that have over $1 million.

The majority of home sales above $800,000 in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco are now being bought by Chinese.

Everyday, the American airports are clogged with foreign people coming to America to feast on the carcass that was once the proud nation of Amrica.

They are rich foreigners, often possessing ill-gotten wealth. They are poor foreigners, from violent, impoverished, chaotic cultures. They are foreign students and H1B visa holders, from India, China, Indonesia, Phillipines, Egypt, Brazil, coming to take engineering jobs away from American engineers. Then, later, they’ll take the knowledge back to their home countries and use it to compete against America.

No other country in the world allows such unchecked, chaotic immigration, and on such a vast scale.

America is committing national suicide by immigration, at the behest of big business. The American military does nothing about it. Why even have a military?

Feb 25, 2013 3:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:
What you aren’t saying is this is a political issue for Karzai, he wants all forces under his political control and the local police may not heed him after the americans leave. So he wants to cut short their training by forcing the SF to leave. I thought the US went to Afghanistan to root out the Taliban who were protecting the terrorists that attacked NY. Why are we doing nation building where we’re not welcome, it is nothing more than building up Karzai!. Play hardball with Karzai and if he refuses …. leave for good.

Feb 25, 2013 4:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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