Speed Reads

afghanistan conflict

Former Afghan president says country will be 'better off' without U.S. military

Although former Afghan President Hamid Karzai thinks the United States and its allies are leaving his country "in total disgrace and disaster" as they pull their troops out after nearly two decades, he told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday that "we will be better off without their military presence."

Foreign forces "came here 20 years ago with this clear objective of fighting extremism and bringing stability," but now, Karzai said, "extremism is at the highest point ... They have failed." Going forward Karzai believes Afghans "should defend our own country and look after our own lives."

Karzai served as Afghanistan's president from after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 until 2014, and AP notes he had a "conflicted relationship" with the U.S. during his tenure, though recently he has played a key role in getting current political leaders in Afghanistan to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban. Read more at The Associated Press.