Secretary Clinton Defends Raids from Karzai’s Criticism

By Maya

Nov 15, 2010 1:01pm

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today defended the use of special operations raids in Afghanistan after Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for a halt such actions in an interview with the Washington Post that was published over the weekend. “We believe that the use of intelligence driven precision targeted operations against high value insurgents and their networks is a key component of our comprehensive civilian military operations… there is no question that they are having a significant impact on the insurgent leadership and the networks that they operate,” Clinton said. She said the US shared Karzai’s concerns and has discussed them with him. “We believe that these operations are in the best interest of the Afghan people, the Afghan government and the ISAF troops who are working with their Afghan counterparts to secure the country,” she added. In a separate interview with the Washington Post, published today, General David Petraeus, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, suggested President Karzai’s remarks could undermine the US-led effort there and said he was “astonished and disappointed” with Karzai’s call for reduced military operations and that some raids in the south be discontinued. Skeptics of putting a timeline on the war, including Sen John McCain, R-AZ, have argued that it is based on nothing more than politics. “You don’t fight and conduct wars that way,” he said yesterday, regarding President Obama’s plans to begin withdrawing some troops in July 2011. Today Clinton was careful to note, however, that “the pace of transition of security responsibility obviously depends on the ability of the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan National Police forces to be able to take charge. That’s why this a conditions based, gradual transition process, not some one-time event.”

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