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President Hamid Karzai

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WORLD
January 23, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez and Hashmat Baktash, Los Angeles Times
A showdown between President Hamid Karzai and his country's newly elected parliament was averted late Saturday when the Afghan leader agreed to convene the inaugural legislative session this week rather than push for a one-month postponement. Lawmakers were intent on defying Karzai's order to delay the first session, initially scheduled for Sunday, and had said they would meet at a mosque or in the street if security forces blocked them from the parliament building. The standoff pushed the Afghan leader and his government to the brink of a full-blown political crisis.
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OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By Ronald Neumann and Michael O'Hanlon
Negative early headlines about Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election are easy to imagine. Some candidates are already trying to foster a simplified view among Westerners that they can fail to make the likely second-round runoff only if there is fraud. This is a deliberate attempt to provoke U.S. interference, whatever the facts. A peaceful transition of power to a new president broadly accepted as legitimate by the Afghan people is essential for several reasons: to secure future Afghan stability; to maintain support for Afghanistan in the U.S. Congress; and, above all, to achieve a key strategic goal - that the nation does not again become a base for terrorism against the United States.
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OPINION
July 4, 2010 | Doyle McManus
The Obama administration's official position on the impact Gen. David H. Petraeus will have on the war in Afghanistan is minimalist. His appointment doesn't mean a change in strategy, officials say — just more "unity of effort" in the struggle to make counterinsurgency work. After all, Petraeus was a coauthor of the strategy his predecessor, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, was pursuing. But that doesn't mean there won't be real change. In a war that hasn't been going notably well, there ought to be. And Petraeus is a different general from McChrystal — not merely more practiced at politics and diplomacy but also more likely to focus on those aspects of the war. For an unofficial forecast, I turned to David Kilcullen, a former Australian army officer who has been an advisor to Petraeus since 2005.
NEWS
December 17, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Six more dead Americans in Afghanistan. Tell me again: Why? On Tuesday, the six U.S. soldiers were riding in a helicopter in southern Afghanistan when it crashed . Mechanical failure is suspected, though the Taliban, of course, claimed its fighters downed the craft. Which matters not one whit, of course. Dead is dead. Just in time for the holidays, six American families are getting the worst news possible about their loved ones. YEAR IN REVIEW: Washington's 5 biggest 'fails' of 2013 Do you know how many American soldiers have died in Afghanistan this year?
WORLD
June 7, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
Afghanistan's top law enforcement official and its intelligence chief stepped down Sunday, taking the blame for last week's attack by Taliban insurgents on a national peace assembly as President Hamid Karzai addressed the gathering. The resignations of Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and National Directorate of Security Chief Amrullah Saleh came at a time when Afghanistan, faced with an insurgency that continues to intensify, can ill afford instability in its police and intelligence ranks.
WORLD
July 17, 2010 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
The sunbaked, shell-pocked ruins of west Kabul stand as silent testament to what happened the last time Afghanistan splintered along ethnic lines. The country's disastrous civil war in the early 1990s — a conflict that killed at least 100,000 people and helped set the stage for the Taliban's rise to power — reduced whole swaths of the capital to rubble, leaving scars on the landscape that reconstruction efforts have yet to erase....
WORLD
May 10, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration moved with some unease Monday to recalibrate its relationship with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who not long ago likened the U.S.-led coalition in his country to an invading force. Karzai is visiting Washington this week with two dozen or more senior members of his government in tow, and the two sides are struggling to forgive, if not forget, mutual hard feelings. He was invited to take part in a working dinner Monday night with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Blair House, the official state guest house.
WORLD
January 17, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez
The Afghan parliament Saturday once again rejected the majority of President Hamid Karzai's choices for his Cabinet, a rebuke likely to unnerve an international community that desperately wants the Afghan leader to forge ahead with reform plans. The rejection of 10 of the 17 nominees means that Karzai will have to go back to parliament a third time to gain approval for his Cabinet choices, and raises questions about his political strength. After he presented his initial slate of 24 nominees Jan. 2, lawmakers rejected 17 of them.
WORLD
January 10, 2010 | By Laura King
President Hamid Karzai snubbed two prominent warlord figures in a new Cabinet lineup unveiled Saturday but unexpectedly offered a ministerial spot to the leader of a party linked to a Pakistan-based insurgent commander. The list of 16 Cabinet nominees also includes three women, one of them a prominent activist chosen as minister of women's affairs. Karzai had been sharply criticized when his previous lineup had only one woman. The Afghan parliament on Jan. 2 rejected 17 of the 23 prospective ministers that Karzai initially put forth, including former militia commander Ismail Khan and three nominees associated with another former commander, Rashid Dostum.
WORLD
December 10, 2009 | By Tony Perry
Several hundred women, many holding aloft pictures of relatives killed by drug lords or Taliban militants, held a loud but nonviolent street protest today, demanding that President Hamid Karzai purge from his government anyone connected to corruption, war crimes or the Taliban. "These women are being very brave," said the protest leader, her face hidden by a burka. "To be a woman in Afghanistan and an activist can mean death. We want justice for our loved ones!" Afghan police, in riot gear, monitored the rally as it worked its way slowly through muddy streets to the United Nations building here, but they did nothing to disrupt the event.
WORLD
November 28, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - In his first public remarks in the weeklong standoff between the United States and Afghanistan over a post-2014 security agreement, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham challenged President Hamid Karzai to end the bitter stalemate and sign the 10-year pact. Cunningham told Afghan reporters in the western city of Herat that it was up to Karzai to decide whether the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan's security would extend past the withdrawal of combat troops next year.
WORLD
November 26, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and David Zucchino
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials seeking to close a deal by year's end on the future of American troops in Afghanistan are exploring ways to bypass the country's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, who negotiated the agreement but now refuses to sign it. Frustrated by Karzai's abrupt declaration that he won't ink the deal before Afghan elections in April, the Obama administration has begun pushing for Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani or another top...
WORLD
November 24, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a face-to-face rebuke to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a grand council of Afghan dignitaries voted Sunday to recommend approval of a proposed 10-year security accord with the United States by the end of the year, agreeing to an American-imposed deadline. The white-bearded chairman of the advisory council, or loya jirga , told Karzai that he miscalculated by threatening a signing delay until spring. Chairman Sibghatullah Mojaddedi lectured Karzai, warning that if he delays signing, "I'll resign and leave the country.
WORLD
November 22, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan on Friday brushed aside an end-of-the-year U.S. deadline for signing a 10-year security pact between the two nations that would continue U.S. military and reconstruction aid after combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. The spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, who stunned U.S. officials and many Afghans in a speech Thursday by saying the Afghan government would not sign the agreement until next spring, reiterated Friday that his nation wanted to wait.
WORLD
November 21, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - He expressed outrage, sarcasm and black humor. He cast himself as a lonely voice defending his country's pride and sovereignty against American arrogance. After a frantic week of last-minute negotiations, Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivered a tepid endorsement Thursday of a proposed 10-year security pact with the United States in a rambling speech to an Afghan tribal gathering. But he then surprised attendees - and the world - by saying Afghanistan might not sign the accord until next spring.
WORLD
June 20, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Even as Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week canceled security negotiations with the Obama administration and suspended his involvement in the U.S. attempt to revive peace talks with the Taliban, the insurgents made some political moves as fleet-footed as some of their guerrilla tactics, analysts said. This comes as Afghanistan's neighbors rethink how their interests would be affected by a political reconciliation involving the Taliban, as much of a long shot as that seems.
WORLD
March 5, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
The departing U.N. envoy to Afghanistan said Thursday that the nation's leaders must "clean up their own house" and warned that U.S.-led military operations must not jeopardize political efforts toward reconciliation with the Taliban. At a news conference marking the end of his 18-month term, Kai Eide said there was hope for the nation but the world needed more resolve from President Hamid Karzai's government. He criticized Afghanistan for a lack of reform and the international community for "fast-ticking clocks" and unrealistic demands.
WORLD
November 26, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and David Zucchino
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials seeking to close a deal by year's end on the future of American troops in Afghanistan are exploring ways to bypass the country's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, who negotiated the agreement but now refuses to sign it. Frustrated by Karzai's abrupt declaration that he won't ink the deal before Afghan elections in April, the Obama administration has begun pushing for Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani or another top...
WORLD
June 19, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash, Mark Magnier and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's president abruptly canceled ongoing security negotiations with the U.S., with his office charging Wednesday that the Obama administration had said one thing and done another while arranging peace talks with the insurgent Taliban movement. President Obama quickly rejected the criticism, saying, "We had anticipated that at the outset there were going to be some areas of friction, to put it mildly, in getting this thing off the ground. " President Hamid Karzai's reputation in Washington as a mercurial U.S. ally was further reinforced by his administration's decision, which came a day before U.S. officials were scheduled to begin direct negotiations with the Taliban.
WORLD
April 27, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.” Nowhere has that admonishment by 18th century statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke been ignored with such disastrous consequences as in Afghanistan. The imperial British army suffered its most inglorious defeat there in 1842, only to have the folly of invasion repeated by the Soviet Union in 1979 and again by the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As tens of thousands of U.S. and allied troops prepare to leave Afghanistan after nearly a dozen years, Scottish writer-historian William Dalrymple's new chronicle of the British debacle more than 170 years ago evokes comparison of the fates that have met foreign invaders.
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