Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S., Karzai deal leaves most U.S. commandos in Wardak

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's president on Wednesday relented in his demand for all U.S. special operations forces to withdraw from a strategic province east of the capital, agreeing to a compromise calling for the pullout of one team implicated in abuse allegations that the Americans have rejected.

The dispute underscores the fragile negotiations under way as Hamid Karzai seeks to redefine and expand control of his country, and the United States and its allies prepare to end their combat missions by the end of 2014.

Wardak province is viewed as a gateway to Kabul and has been the focus of counterinsurgency efforts in recent years. But Karzai last month ordered all U.S. special operations forces out after local villagers accused Afghan troops working with the Americans there of torture, illegal detentions and other abuses.

The U.S.-led coalition denied the allegations. But NATO said Karzai and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the U.S. commander of all allied forces, agreed Wednesday to remove a team of commandos and turn over security to government forces in Wardak's Nirkh district, the center of the allegations.

British Army Lt. Gen. Nick Carter, deputy commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said it will be "business as usual" for U.S. special operations forces elsewhere in the restive province.

In an interview from Kabul with Pentagon reporters, Carter also described a somewhat vague timeline for the Nirkh transition, saying it will come "once the plan has been put together and there is confidence on all sides that it is possible" for the Afghans to take over security there.

The compromise came after a string of anti-American rhetoric from the Afghan leader that appears aimed at gaining favor with the Afghan public.

U.S., Karzai deal leaves most U.S. commandos in Wardak 03/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    Cooking

    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. How to tell if the price is right on your next prescription

    Medicine

    Filling a prescription is no longer the simple errand you run after a doctor visit.

    Photo illustration. [iStockphoto.com]
  3. Rubio to Seminole County GOP: 'America is going to be okay'

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a reshaped stump speech Tuesday night to the Seminole County GOP, touching on many of the same points he made as a presidential candidate but adapting it to the tumultuous politics of the moment.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  4. Dad's app freezes your child's phone until your texts are answered

    Human Interest

    Parents of teens know how vital cell phones can be when they need to reach their kids — especially during an emergency.

    Nick Herbert, who lives in the United Kingdom, grew tired of his teenage son ignoring his texts, so he made an app to fix the problem. ReplyASAP takes over the phone's screen, overrides any silent functions and sets off an alarm, essentially forcing teens to respond to their parents in order to regain access to their phones. [Screengrab from website]
  5. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Miami-based Related Group has broken ground on a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]