WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday that the United States and its allies still have a long way to go before their security operations are successful in his country.
"We have traveled far together, but the international effort in Afghanistan still has miles to go," Karzai wrote in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post. "We are not yet delivering security to large portions of the country."
He said he had consistently noted the urgency of addressing the problem of sanctuaries that Taliban and other militants receive beyond Afghanistan's borders and that this problem was far from solved.
"Ending night raids and house searches, as well as transferring control of detention facilities on our soil to Afghans will also go a long way in setting us up for success," the Afghan president said. He noted that civilian casualties in the war were harming the anti-insurgent effort.
While acknowledging that the top US military commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal, had done a lot to address the problem, Karzai said more needed to be done. There are around 130,000 foreign troops serving in Afghanistan, which is in the grip of a bloody insurgency waged by remnants of the Taliban since they were overthrown in a US-led invasion in late 2001.