January 10th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

Karzai comes with wish list

By Mike Mount

Afghan President Hamid Karzai showed up to the Pentagon on Thursday with a wish list of military equipment to ensure the security of his country by the time NATO forces leave at the end of 2014.

In return, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had a message to deliver – the United States wants to make sure Afghanistan does not become a terrorist safe haven again.

Karzai's meeting with Panetta, occurring under a cloud of mistrust between both countries, was expected to have some tough talk about the future of Afghanistan. But publicly, the image seemed like there was no trouble at all.

It was the first stop for the Afghan president who was to have dinner with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday and meet with President Barack Obama on Friday.

Karzai was given a ceremonial greeting on the Pentagon parade grounds that included a 21-gun salute by Army cannons.

Afterward, Panetta and Karzai, accompanied by their top staff members, sat down for a meeting.

"This is a wonderful opportunity and it comes after 10 years of war, of blood, of battle, the loss of many on both sides," Panetta said in remarks to reporters before the meeting.

"But after a long and difficult path, we finally are, I believe, at the last chapter of establishing an Afghanistan - a sovereign Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself for the future," he said.

Karzai offered similar sentiment but also promised his country would be secure under its forces, something the United States wonders about.

"I can assure you, Mr. Secretary, that Afghanistan will, with the help that you provide, be able to provide security to its people and to protect its borders; so Afghanistan would not ever again be threatened by terrorists from across our borders," Karzai said.

But Karzai knows that will not be easy as the United States mulls a post-NATO troop presence of between zero and 9,000 soldiers. Additionally, the Afghan population has little faith in the government in Kabul and the security forces are still far from being able to handle things on their own.

That is probably why he came to the Pentagon asking for more helicopters, drones and other hardware to support Afghan forces, according to a senior defense official.

Panetta told reporters at a news conference after the meeting that he explained to Karzai the United States would develop a list of equipment after assessing threats to Afghanistan.

A recent Pentagon report found that the Afghan Border Patrol relies on the United States for its most basic needs, including food and water, while only one Afghan Army unit can operate without American assistance.

It is unclear how well Afghan forces could perform without most of the equipment they want because they have very little of it. Moreover, U.S. or allied forces are the ones using aircraft and specialized weaponry during missions.

What's more, defense officials say, Karzai prefers any residual U.S. troop presence to focus on training his forces. He is opposed to foreign troops conducting raids, a major part of the counter-terrorism mission that the United States would like to maintain after the end of the NATO mission.

But the United States wants assurances from Karzai that terrorists would not gain a foothold once American troops depart.

The two sides will continue negotiations over what, if any, troops will remain.

The Pentagon left no troops in Iraq, in part because the government demanded that any remaining American forces be subject to Iraqi laws and courts.

A senior Defense official told CNN that he does not see the same kind of inflexibility in Afghanistan.

While sovereignty is extremely important to the Afghans, the official said Karzai is more concerned about Afghan prisoners being held in U.S. military jails than the question of legal protection for American troops.

It is no secret that Karzai wants total Afghan control of detention operations, meaning all Afghans being held by the United States and NATO allies would be turned over to Afghan authorities immediately.

The United States is not eager to give up control of those detainees because of concerns over whether Afghan authorities would properly handle their cases and under what authority they might be released.

Panetta seemed confident following the meeting, but offered no details about their conversation.

"I was very satisfied with the discussions I had with President Karzai. He indicated a willingness to do what we believe is necessary in order to accomplish what we agreed to do in Chicago," Panetta said about the U.S.-Afghan deal to build a strong relationship between the two countries once the combat mission ends.

The United States is also talking with NATO and other allies about whether they would contribute troops post-2014, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

The American presence will extend beyond security to diplomats. The State Department is planning on maintaining its Kabul embassy as well as four consulates in Heart, Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazzar, said the senior State Department official.

Those facilities could be protected by troops or security contractors, the official said.

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Jerry Vavra

    Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!


    January 10, 2021 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  2. Paddle App

    Equipment isn't the number one priority finding the proper troops loyal troops to protect his country is number one problem right now!

    June 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  3. We should go......

    Anything we give them will be used against us....to our policians: WE NEED TO LEAVE THAT PLACE..TODAY!

    no matter how we leave it, it will never be friendly to the west.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  4. krm1007 ©™

    I would like to take a moment in silence to respect the memory of all those who have perished/injured in this terror war. May they rest in peace and god give them eternal abode in the kingdom of heaven. To those who are injured, may you have a speedy recovery. Amen/Ameen/Ah-Mayn.

    This has been the longest war in mankind’s history. There will be no conclusive end to this struggle. The causes of this war must be identified and isolated and addressed. They have been hanging out there for over 60 years ...Palestine….Indian Occupied Kashmir where genocide has been ongoing for decades by predominantly hindu Indian army. After all, the inspiration of Talibans are also these geo political unresolved issues.

    Let us also focus on the victims of 9/11 and help the families more than we have done. Let us take care of their kids and put them through college. Let us take care of their wives/husbands/parents. Let us take care of over 200,000+ families whose dear ones gave their lives in Pakistan fighting this terror war. Let us focus on the victims in Afghanistan. Let us honor those soldiers from all over the world who sacrificed their lives believing they were fighting for freedom. They are so many.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  5. larry5

    There is a spot on Karzai's bottom that is expecting a kiss. Because of the quality of Obama's leadership the only thing left for him to do is pucker up.

    January 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  6. JohnParryJones

    There important facts:

    Karzai is corrupt.

    It will turn into a safe haven again as soon as we leave. Nothing in this galaxy will stop that unless we stay forever (see #3 below)

    We can't afford the war. We are broke.

    January 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  7. charlesmofo

    The war was justified by any long stretch of the imagination. But my view, is that we did to much. There should have never been a force of boots on ground campaign there. We should have hit them hard with out prejudice and then ended it. No questions asked, just warheads on foreheads and leave the rest to intel and special operations.

    January 12, 2013 at 1:57 am | Reply
  8. Jon

    Karzai is probably a front man for the taliban, leaving the equipment he's requested would in turn be used against us. Wish list? The old saying " wish in one hand and shyit in the other, see which one fills up first." comes to mind. Can we stop wasting billions of dollars and so many lives there please?

    January 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  9. krm1007 ©™

    Karzai has taken more trips to New Delhi, India than to his bathroom. Does he have the runs that can only be excreted in India? Or is he he in love with Manmohan SIngh the Indian Premier? There is an Indian intelligence mega presence in all cities in Afghanistan bordering Pakistan creating probems in the country. As a result India and Pakistan are on the threshold of a major nuclear war. American troops wiill be caught in the middle before they can pull out from Afghanistan.

    January 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Towel Head Detection System

      Warning!!!!!!!!.............Warning!!!!!!!!!............Warning!!!!!!!!!!!! Towel Head Detected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
      • Caramba

        Hindu troll......gang r-apist from India hounding the forum

        January 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Cyrus

      Indians are better than Pakistanis any day.

      January 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
      • James C. Long

        In gang r-aping..... that's for sure

        January 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • Exactly

        Tell me again – should I forget – Where did they find Osama bin Laden hiding in a military town?

        January 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  10. krm1007 ©™

    Karzai is nothing more than a pimp....a stooge of RAW .... Indian Sleuths. There shall be no peace in Afghanistan till the likes of him are ....long gone. There shall be no peace in Afghanistan till the Indian Occupied Kashmir is resolved. Take that to the bank. Do your future generations a favor and stop being an ostrich.

    January 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • John Campbell

      Quit shilling for Pakistan, which is more a terrorist state than India by FAR. Frankly, it needs to be turned into a nuclear sheet of glass.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
      • James C. Long

        Last I checked, Pakistan had a 3-SECOND nuclear strike strategy against India. In other words, before Indians can say Hanuman, it will be turned into ashes!!! Now just think about that. SOURCE: US Library of Congress.

        January 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  11. krm1007 ©™

    When Pakistan sneezes the world catches a cold! The obsession with Pakistan is understandable. It is the new regional leader. It is the new gateway to CAS, China and Europe ! It is on The Silk Route. Without Pakistan, America's honorable withdrawal from Afghanistan is not possible. It is a frontline state that has contributed the most, sacrificed the most but gained the least in establishing a new world order.It beckons that a Marshall Plan be established for Pakistan by Western Allies to propel it to the level of prosperity envisaged by Friends of Pakistan. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our friend and ally Pakistan and together we shall achieve common goals. In God We Trust.

    January 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • wjmccartan

      Pakistan is a boil on the ass of the world that should be lanced, or like the other guy said turned into a sheet of glass. Its head is so far up the ass of the taliban and al queda that all you can see are shoe laces. They have picked the road they wish to travel on, so all American aid to that country should be pulled and if anything should be left to the Pakistani government it should be a roll of used toilet paper.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • James C. Long

        Are you jealous of Pakistan? Seems like it. OR would you prefer gang r-aping nations like India? Shall we say you a hindu India troll? Which one shall it be ? Your choice

        January 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  12. krm1007 ©™

    Let's not kid ourselves. We had to invade Afghanistan to save our pride and to show the world that we had the financing and forbearance to fight this war on ground chasing the shadows. But ego aside, we all know that winning the endeavors in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan. Yes, we have cajoled Pakistan over the years, threatened them, poor boyed them, played the neighbor against them, let the congressional dogs lose doing the god guy – bad guy routine and done the carrot – stick dance. All to no avail. We tried partnering with India in Afghanistan and that has been a disaster. We may have won a battle or two but are on the verge of losing the war. We have hit a wall.

    January 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • krm1007 ©™

      To our partner and ally Pakistan we say our friendship is based on 65 years of proven history of SUCCESSFULLY standing together, fighting for our rights together, fighting the cold war together, fighting for our independence from England. Our forefathers have sacrificed the most in gaining and maintaining their independence. We have the mettle, we have the resolve, we have the resilience. Lets put our best foot together and take our people to a journey full of prosperity, love, peace and harmony. In God we Trust.

      January 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  13. krm1007 ©™

    Let's not kid ourselves. We had to invade Afghanistan to save our pride and to show the world that we had the financing and forbearance to fight this war on ground chasing the shadows. But ego aside, we all know that winning the endeavors in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan. Yes, we have cajoled Pakistan over the years, threatened them, poor boyed them, played the neighbor against them, let the congressional dogs lose doing the god guy – bad guy routine and done the carrot – stick dance. All to no avail. We tried partnering with India in Afghanistan and that has been a disaster. We may have won a battle or two but are on the verge of losing the war. We have hit a wall.

    The time has now come to do the tango with Pakistan. That takes boldness and a desire to commit one self. And that is what we need to do. We need to form a strategic partnership with Pakistan...a long term alliance...and a commitment. We need to lay the cards on the table and not pull the rug from under them. At the same time we need to make them understand the consequences of going wayward on us. We need to evolve a common vision...and common grounds for constructive engagement. We then need to support them and then let them implement the common vision in the region under our supervision. After all, they can do it more

    January 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • krm 1007

      Krm 1007 says Pakistan is responsible for every death that the Americans suffered in the war against terror in Afghanistan, because they have allowed the terrorists to hide within their borders and have done nothing to them, besides supply them with arms and a safe location from which to launch their attacks in Afghanistan. Not a single dollar of aid should be given to this enemy of the free world. Karzi and his technicolor dreamcoat should be sent home with nothing but what he came with and no more, anything he gets will go directly to the taliban or in his account. He wants to gain control over the prisoners being held buy the US just so he can release them, and show the taliban he can be their puppet as well.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:53 am | Reply
  14. USAPeasant

    We should be wary about giving Karzai anything. Seeing as the man is wildly corrupt I would not be surprised if he is overthrown when we leave. Maybe give them some small arms, but do not give them any drones. Giving them drones would be a terrible mistake that will backfire on us in the future.

    January 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  15. StanCalif

    Karsai brought a shopping list to the Pentegon??? "Shopping" means "buying", NOT here is my "gift list"! Seriously, he wants us to give HIM helicopters and drones?? His people can't even learn how to go out on patrols and come back! Many take the weapons and run away, most likely to join the Taliban. What will become of any advanced weapons he wants? These too will vanish and become Taliban tools.
    Karsai has done very little for the people of his country. His own police forces are used to protect opium deliveries.
    Yes, we need to get out of this country quickly. Everything we have tried to "do for them" gets no support or recognition from Karsai. The Taliban will certainly resume control, there just is no way to prevent this. We should stop "wishing" otherwise. Just please, take Karsai's "shopping list" and burn it!

    January 11, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • John Campbell

      Just pull our troops out, with a warning to Karsai, that if the Taliban come back, we bomb the shi* out of Afghanistan.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  16. helenecha

    US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta seemed to have delivered an intriguing massage to the people around the world. It says the US wants to make sure Afghanistan does not become a terrorist safe haven again. In response to the massage, we'd like to ask Panetta about whether Karzai government is the government that the US expects? And whether there's no anti-government force existed in Afghanistan?

    January 11, 2013 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • israel rules you

      You stupid AMericans are dumber than dumb. Keep it real! Our boy Hamid is going to leave with everything he wants. You stupid AMericans are going to pay him off so we can keep you stupid AMericans in his country, right where we need you stupid American to be and which is right next to Iran.

      Look at the map and you'll see we have you stupid Americans surrounding Iran, so when our President Bib and your Master decides to attack Iran, you stupid American will do it from both sides of Iran.

      Gee . . . some people/American's kids are so stupid!

      Listen up! Just stay stupid, you dumber than dumb Americans. Remember your duty is to send us your money and to die for us when we start wars for you to fight in. We are your Masters. If you don't like it, then we will take you to jail.

      You have no more rights in America . . . .we took them away from you. And soon we're going to take away all your guns, too!

      Ha ha ha ha we own you stupid people. We are the israelis and we are the smartest people on earth.


      January 11, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
      • israel rules you

        Israel rules you, likes to molest sheep.
        Israel rules you, likes to fondle donkey balls
        Israel rules you likes to fondle camel balss
        You lick em Israel rules.

        January 11, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • Dallas

        Until woman and children have a normal type of life I wouldn't give him Jack. I wont be held responsible for supporting the oppression of these woman and children in the middle east. Middle east men aint. not even close to being a real men.. But just keep adding to the national debt MORON's. He probably wants automatic weapons that Obama will gladly give him . Gun control LOL

        January 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  17. Smokey

    After the Soviet Union was forced to leave Afghanistan, it survived for another four-odd years. How long will America make it? Will Karzai outlast America like Najibullah did the Soviets? Will the Afghans eventually hang him from a light-post too? Is Obama America's Gorbachev, and Bush its Brezhnev? The parallels are clear. Or is Karzai Karmal, and we'll replace him with the head of Secret Police (who is that these days anyway...it's Asadullah Khalid). So many questions...Vedic astrology indicates that an individual of great potential will be born in the next couple of years, somewhere in the Hindu Kush or Punjab regions. How will the war's end affect this person's upbringing?

    January 11, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply
    • massoud

      It was a major tactical error by the C.I.A. to fund and support Gulbudin Hekmatyar, instead of Ahmad Shah Massoud during Operation Cyclone.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:26 am | Reply
  18. J

    I was there, this country CANT be helped. We should have been out when we killed Bin Laden

    January 10, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Agree! And where did we find Bin Laden? NOT in Afghanistan, he was living and operating out of his secure compound in Pakistan! Of course, no Pakistani generals (in the same area) knew anything about this! What a joke!
      First, we need to exit Afghanistan to be quickly followed with a full exit from Pakistan! These counties are NOT our friends and allies! We are just being blackmailed.

      But Pakistan has nukes!!! So what? Just dare to try one.

      January 11, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  19. Lifes short

    Drop kick this heroin addict out on his worthless rear.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  20. Kailan

    Give this corrupt man nothing, even American lives just to give him security. Nothing will happen to those shopping list of arms except ending up on the Talibans' hands when they come back after our troops are gone. Let those stupid Afghans do their own security and for those in prison, let us just drop a bomb on them when we leave. Less headache for the US.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  21. massoud

    Karzai is just a double dealing con man who is playing both sides for his benefit.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  22. Deen

    Shame on Karzai. We need to get out of there like Iraq 100% withdrawal.. Let Karzai pay for the expenses for last 5 years. Shame on this guy he still didnt fix his country's problem and wants US to baby sit them...

    January 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  23. kevin

    I think we should give them all of the prisioners back. Put em on a plane and drop them off over Kabul

    January 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  24. Bill

    Send him HOME! Giving him anything will not help us in anyway. He is a waste and so is our wish list of a foriegn policy in Afghanistan. We will get nothing in return for anything invested. Do America a favor and cut our losses.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  25. kevin

    They should give this guy only one thing, an ultimatum to get the job done on his own or he be the next drone victom.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  26. Ibrahim bin al-Islamist bin ther dun that

    Why would anyone believe or trust Karzai. He has not authority over the country at large. At best he is a puppet who is barely able to control Kabul. Without international forces on the ground, the Taliban and Al Qaeda will be back with a vengeance.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  27. kushash

    This is the same thing that happend before when america funded suddom and bin laden and called them freedom fighters also gave them weapons they requested but when years go bye and america wants the weapons back and they cant get them is when we forget we gave them the guns were crying about once again americas funding terrorism.i mean hows money is paying for the weapons being asked for cuz i know americas in debt iam in debt ur in debt and aint none of us are going to lend this karzai no money what a joke

    January 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  28. davecu

    Kick this bum to the curb.

    He has some big ones, in deed!

    January 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  29. Richard Josephson

    It constantly amazes me how naive and delusional our so called foreign policy experts are. Expecting Karzai to be able to
    secure his country from the Taliban after the U.S. military leaves indicates that our policymakers are unable, or unwilling to face the facts. Who are these people that make these decisions?

    How in the world can they consistenly make bad decisions that waste billions of dollars of taxpayers money? Where are our leaders with the courage to say enough is enough?

    Someone once said that "only a fool expects different results from the same actions" Foreign policy makers wake up!
    You're destroying America.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  30. Ron

    This guy is crooked as the day is long, We should train his troops for 3 more months then move all troops out! We train troops and commanders and they train there own troops, Our Boot camps for our own soldiers is only 16 weeks, then we send them into combat! Why do the Afghan troops need a year? Are they that stupid? Make thier commanders go through our boot camps, give them the operations manual and get our people the hell out of there.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  31. Dan

    In the end the majority in Afghanistan will get what they deserve. No country has ever gained freedom and individual liberties by having others do its fighting. They usually get what the majority put up with. Shame American blood was spilled for this lesson.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  32. Frozar

    Yeah there's no way those weapons could possibly wind up in the wrong hands.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  33. Mariposa

    My wish list for Karzai is that we leave Afganistan asap!

    January 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  34. CommonSensed

    And the beggar comes to the US.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  35. me

    This is a man that can offer nothing in return for his so called shopping list. The government should send him packing with only the pajamas he was wearing when he got there, turn over all the prisoners. What a joke, he will probably release more then half of them and send the other half party favors. He can't even supply his own troops with food and water, yet there are billions of dollars worth of minerals underground in that country. He wants to deal, then I'd be getting him to sign over mining rights in a big way. You don't get nothin for nothin.

    January 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Commojoe

      Yeah, we'd send him packing if we had a president who had a pair and some good sense, but since we have the Bozobama, he'll want to be Karzai's good buddy, plus throw money at him, as it's all Bozobama know how to do.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to Cyrus


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.