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Excerpts from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Washington Post
That has to be proven
On American military operations in Afghanistan:
I think 10 years is a long time to continue to have military operations. The time has come to reduce military operations. The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan . . . to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life. . . . Make it more civilian. The Afghans remember with very fond memories, with a lot of love and affection, all the roads and dams that you built in 1950s and '60s. That can be replicated, that can be repeated.
On the size of the American military presence:
You cannot sustain that, first of all, on your own for long. Second, it's not desirable for the Afghan people either to have 100,000 or more foreign troops going around the country endlessly, there has to be a plan inside whereby the Afghan capacity increases, whereby the NATO presence decreases to the extent that we can provide our own security, that we can also contribute to the security of the world, and where you can also have the unnecessary burden on your taxpayer removed for paying for such an extensive presence in Afghanistan.
. . .
We'd like to have a long-term relationship with America, a substantial relationship with America, that's what the Afghan people want. But we'd like the Afghan countryside, villages, homes, towns, not to be so overwhelmed with the military presence. Life has to be seen [as] more normal. More in terms of peace and civilian activity in Afghanistan, you can have the U.S. presence in the bases where they are, you can have necessary activities along the border conducted, but the majority of security operations, the majority of day-to-day activities where security is concerned . . . is the job of the Afghan people, the Afghan government. If we cannot provide that, we must be in serious trouble. We have to begin to do that ourselves.