New Afghanistan Development Dangerous to NATO
After learning this afternoon of Afghan President Karzai’s ultimatum to NATO concerning airstrikes, we need to consider how dangerous this new development is. While it's always devastating to hear about civilians killed in the fight against the Taliban, President Karzai surely knows that no one works harder to eliminate civilian casualties than NATO. His public ultimatum issued today to allies and supposed friends is dangerous. What President Karzai is saying is that if we don’t severely limit our air campaign he will take “unilateral action.” And he further says that if the airstrikes continue we will be seen as an “occupying” power. This is an indirect way of saying that American and NATO forces will be fair game, which is obviously an unacceptable situation that threatens our troops. His comments reflect the reality that there is a growing divide between NATO and the Karzai government. Let us be clear: we are in Afghanistan fighting for the Afghan people and for the security of our country and our allies. If President Karzai continues with these public ultimatums, we must consider our options about the immediate future of U.S. troops in his country. If he actually follows through on his claim that Afghan forces will take “unilateral action” against NATO forces who conduct such air raids to take out terrorists and terrorist positions, that should result in the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the suspension of U.S. aid. I still firmly support our mission in Afghanistan, but we must have the support of the host government. Our troops’ mission will be compromised and their safety endangered if the Afghan government threatens us.
- Sarah Palin