President Karzai’s Renewed Anti-US Rhetoric
President Karzai once again criticized the United States in a harsh tone, saying that The latest remarks are considered a renewal of his refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the US despite that it was approved by the Loya Jirga last year.
Karzai’s move in intensifying the already tense relations of Afghanistan and the United States seems to be intentional with certain purposes which also could be related to the ongoing negotiations for a residual of American force and the upcoming Afghan presidential elections. There is a broad consensus among the observers and political analysts in Afghanistan that such provocations are closely related to President Karzai’s attempt to preserve a dominant position in Afghanistan’s future politics. Karzai is undoubtedly the most influential politician who is able to affect the elections in a way or another provided that he has hands untied in the electoral affairs.
President Karzai sees the international community particularly the United States’ role in the upcoming elections in Afghanistan conflicting with his own role as a dominant political player who could immensely influence the elections. The puzzle is further complicated when compounding his antipathy towards the United States due to Washington’s attempt to unseat him in the 2009 Afghan presidential elections. It seems that his latest rhetoric against Washington is a deliberated and time-considered response to the former US Secretary of Defense tell-all revelations of Washington’s efforts in 2009 to oust Karzai from power.
However, it would be naïve to assume that this is the sole underlying objective behind his bizarre moves over the security agreement with the United States. President Karzai has been capable of considering Afghanistan’s interests in dealing with the world and the region in the last twelve years. However, his latest moves are seen as a gamble which could potentially risk Afghanistan’s relations with the international community, particularly the United States whose role with remain critical in supporting Afghanistan after 2014.
Since his anti-US maneuvers is not viewed by the Afghan media, the political spectrum and the civil organizations in line with Afghanistan’s interests, then obviously Gates’ revelations is not the main objective behind his latest remarks rather it is thought to be related to Afghanistan’s upcoming elections and the peace efforts. Given Karzai’s defiance to the US contrary to the popular demand in the country for signing the bilateral security agreement with the United States, it is quite reasonable to conclude that his moves are attempts to retain a foothold in Afghanistan’s politics and preserve some sorts of power when the Western alliance leaves Afghanistan this year.
What the President should not neglect is that he is in the right position to shape Afghanistan’s future relations with the world. And he should not ruin it. The people expect him to remain wise.