Mr. Abdullah described the outcome of the Marjah operation as “mixed,” saying the Taliban “might come back or is already back.”
Discussing the situation in Kandahar, he said the political corruption in the province is a key problem.
“It requires a political decision to change the environment so the people can feel part of it and contribute,” he said. “The mission in Kandahar should be clearly defined.”
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of troops in Afghanistan, said the strategy and goal of the Kandahar offensive have been well defined.
The operation in Kandahar is “focused on enhancing the presence of the Afghan government across Kandahar province, increasing security in targeted areas to allow the government to bring essential services to the people,” Maj. Redfield said.
“Unlike Marjah, the operation in Kandahar will not start with a decisive ‘D-Day.’ The effort has already begun, and the level of activity will continue to expand throughout the coming months,” the Central Command spokesman said.
Kandahar is governed by Ahmed Wali Karzai, a half-brother of President Karzai who has been accused of benefiting from the drug trade and against whom Afghanistan’s defense ministry has recommended an investigation over land deals.
According to an Associated Press report, the defense ministry has asked President Karzai to investigate whether Ahmed Wali Karzai used his sway to help associates use and build profitable projects on government-owned land in a key city in the south.
Mr. Abdullah said President Karzai and the international community were not on the same page as far as defining the problem in Afghanistan and finding a solution.
“The reality on the ground is the prime beneficiary of your contributions in Afghanistan, which is the president and his team, he is blaming you for all the evils of that country openly in public,” he said. “You are losing the support and sympathy of the people because of the failures of our government.”
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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