This is from the CBC. It seems that Karzai is quite angry at the UK for talking to the Taliban without consulting the central govt. apparently. Karzai also supported a local warlord and the UK and the US both suggested he get rid of him plus his security detail. I expect the result was that the warlord joined forces with the insurgency and indeed the security situation probably did get worse.
Criticisms such as this will not help create domestic support for the Afghan mission in the UK. If only Karzai would criticise the Canadian mission now it would probably do a great deal more good to create more public support to bring the troops home.
The US has criticised NATO partners for not being well trained in counter-insurgency---in contrast no doubt to the sterling performance of US troops!-
but there was an immediate footnote that of course Canadians were not meant to be included. Maybe it was the Monaco contingent!
Karzai blames Britain for return of Taliban
Last Updated: Friday, January 25, 2008 9:39 AM ET
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused British troops of making the security situation worse in parts of southern Afghanistan, saying the area "suffered" after their arrival.
Speaking to a group of journalists at the Davos Economic Forum on Thursday, Karzai said he shouldn't have listened to British and U.S. officials who said he should remove the local security forces that were already in place in Helmand province, The Times reported.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during a working session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. (Michel Euler/AP Photo)
Britain has about 7,700 military personnel in the area, most of them fighting a resurgent Taliban in the country's south.
"There was one part of the country where we suffered after the arrival of the British forces," Karzai said. "Before that we were fully in charge of Helmand. When our governor was there, we were fully in charge.
"They came and said, 'Your governor is no good'. I said 'All right, do we have a replacement for this governor; do you have enough forces?'. Both the American and the British forces guaranteed to me they knew what they were doing and I made the mistake of listening to them.
"And when they came in, the Taliban came."
When asked if he blamed Britain for the return of the Taliban, Karzai said: "I just described the situation of mistakes we made. The mistake was that we removed a local arrangement without having a replacement.
"We removed the police force. That was not good. The security forces were not in sufficient numbers or information about the province. That is why the Taliban came in. It took us a year and a half to take back Musa Qala. This was not failure but a mistake," Karzai said.
But Britain's Foreign Office rejected the claim, saying its policy was to work in consultation with Karzai's government
"Our strategy in Helmand has been to work with the Afghan government to extend their authority throughout the province, creating a secure environment which allows political and economic development," a spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with ministry practice.
"Our armed forces have suffered losses and shown great determination and bravery to achieve that objective," the spokesman said.
Last week, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates sparked criticism after he suggested in a newspaper interview that NATO forces in southern Afghanistan do not know how to properly combat a guerrilla insurgency, and that could be contributing to rising violence in the country.