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Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s accusations that U.S. troops have been “colluding” with the Taliban in an effort to prolong combat operations is endangering service members and deserves an apology, the head of the Military Officers Association of America said Friday.
In a letter to President Obama, retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert Ryan said Karzai’s “open disdain for the American military is not acceptable.”
“The current combat environment is already extremely hazardous,” Ryan said. “What our country needs is a supportive Afghan government, not an unappreciated one.
“We believe President Karzai should apologize both to the men and women of the American military who have fought for his country’s freedom and to all the families of our military personnel who have suffered the loss of a loved one on his nation’s behalf.”
Ryan asks Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other top government officials to provide a counterbalance to Karzai’s statement by continuing to speak out “about the valor, incredible professionalism and sacrifice” of troops and their families.
Security for U.S. forces in Afghanistan has been stepped up since Karzai’s comments last weekend, and the U.S. commander has called the accusation “categorically false.”
“We have shed too much blood over the past 12 years,” Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., the commander of U.S. and combined forces in Afghanistan, told reporters. “We have done too much to help the Afghan security forces grow over the last 12 years to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney also denied the allegations. “Any suggestion that the United States is colluding with the Taliban is categorically false,” he said. “The last thing we would do is support any kind of violence particularly involving innocent civilians.”