April 15th, 2010
08:07 AM ET

Obama: Karzai can be 'strong partner'

"I think that President Karzai is capable of leading his country into the 21st century and stabilizing it," President Obama told Australian TV in a recorded interview from Washington broadcast on Thursday. "But what we have said is that we can't succeed unless President Karzai moves forward on the reforms that are so necessary for Afghans to see a real investment in their lives day-to-day and improvement in their lives day-to-day."

"We think it's necessary for the world's security that we dismantle al Qaeda and its affiliate networks, and we need a strong partner in that process. I think Karzai has the capacity to be that strong partner," said Obama. "I do think that what we have seen is a blunting of the momentum of the Taliban, which had been building up in the year prior to me taking office."

He reiterated his plan to begin drawing down U.S. troops in 2011 and handing responsibility for security to domestic forces in Afghanistan. "We can't be there in perpetuity," he said.

Earlier this month, Karzai and the White House played down their political differences, rejecting reports of a major dispute between the Obama administration and Karzai.


Filed under: Karzai • Obama • White House
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. mike malley

    When the Commander-in-Chief decides that home grown narcotic's are a healthy way to do business, he will stay the course. We have been fighting "The War on Drugs", since the early 70's under Nixon. I realize that Afganistan is another buffer around iran. If the U.S. Government is sooooo frighten of iran, we need to be one step behind Israel-A close step

    April 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nathan salazar

    I know little about this mater but one thing I can say is obama is trying to make partners.we (u.s) are not a world power as we use to be,and for that reason ANY so called friend is a plus.the truth to their intentions are what we need to find out.

    April 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Y. Woodman Brown


    "We think it's necessary for the world's security that we dismantle al Qaeda and its affiliate networks, and we need a strong partner in that process. I think Karzai has the capacity to be that strong partner," said Obama. "I do think that what we have seen is a blunting of the momentum of the Taliban, which had been building up in the year prior to me taking office."

    Wow...how can a well educated man be so egotistically obtuse?

    A) We cannot dismantle al Qaeda, nor the Taliban...that's like dismantling Christian Evangelicals or Hasidic Jews or Neo-Nazis.

    B) Karzai has been and is so weak a leader that he allowed the Taliban to re-take at least half of Afghanistan while ensuring bumper crops of opium which the U.S. has decided, at this point, not to fight...one cannot expect a jellyfish to grow a backbone.

    c) There has been no 'blunting of the momentum', the momentum has simply carried the Taliban past Afghanistan and into Pakistan; in fact, this momentum so frightened Mr. Obama, that he called a 47-nation nuclear summit to deal with the notion that terrorists are closer to obtaining a bomb than ever before...this possibility is closest to reality via Pakistan–a specifically Muslim country–who was never supposed to have been allowed (like Hindu India) to develop nuclear weapons in the first place...3rd world countries simply cannot keep their nukes safe over time.

    d) What kind of narcissism must a man have to actually believe such warped points of view which add-up–in the end–to bluntly stating, essentially, that things are better now than 'prior to me taking office'?

    Why oh why do just exactly all of our presidents turn-out to be quite plainly delusional?

    April 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BAZ987

    Afghanistan is rated as one of the top 5 most corrupt countries in the world. This will not change by "getting rid of the Taliban".Afghanistans culture will not allow it to becaome a democracy. AMerican politicians are so deep in kimshi since the invasion of aghanistan that they cannot be honest about anything concerning Afgahnistan. To feed the U.S. citizens this bull shows they think we're all as stupid as they are. We've already been fighting in Afghanistan longer than WW11. It's impossible to win. Bring the troops home.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kat

    i think that obama should show what he is gonig to do with the us because we are tird of him wasting ur money stupid things that we do not need in our great nation!!!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. tony

    YEAH – Chavez would be "a strong partner" too depending on your whacked perspective!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. JKF

    So far Karzai has gone from error to error; what he could be and what he actually is are very far appart issues. I do not think that he, Karzai, has shown any alligance to the ideals of his Western partners. Karzai has a potential to seriously undermine all of Afghanistan's progress by his shear lack of vison and less than logical outbursts. Karzai may even seriously damage the Obama presidency. It is just a matter of time before Karzai makes himself a total negative in the hopes of all those that would want to see a progessive, secure, and economically prosperous Afghanistan, Karzai's continuous wavering, and showng that he does not know which side he is on, portrays a very detrimental image among hs own people- traditionally Afghan's are determined and committed, Karzai is neither. At the same time some of Karzai's stupid pronouncements can only result in more confusion amongst the Afghan tribes and the populations that sustain Western involvement in Afghanistan. I hope I am wrong, but the President (Obama) is really stiking his neck out on this stumbling Karzai individual, which has a serius possibility to backfire. Bottom line- Karzai continues to fail in leading his people' through dialogue, example and even taking a clear principled path- such a failing is not helpful to garner support from the people against the terrorists.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Manmohan Lal

    Well done to India for making sense to USA.

    Karzai is a great Indian asset and must not be sidelined as he will help India greatly to encircle Pakistan.

    Sooner or later, Pakistan will be swallowed by India and India will shine as per the pre colonial rule where muslims will work alongside shooders while the Brahmins rule.

    April 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DavenPA

    ..... One needs to ask a simple question, where did Karzai come from???
    OH thats right, he was the hand picked negotiator for UNOCAL's proposed gas pipeline from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan – this was prior to 9/11.
    OH and by the way he was picked by????? George Bush senior!!! and suddenly after the talks fell apart- 9/11 happened soon there after.......
    So once more as everyone wants to bash Obama- lets look at who gave us the situation we find ourselves in ( for all who believe in "personal responsibility ") not only did the Bushes give us this idiot they also gave us OSAMA BIN LADIN and the TALIBAN.
    Now for anyone who thinks we should just cut bait and leave..... uh due to the poor planning on behalf of the PRIOR administration we drove the Tailban into Pakistan where they have the nukes......
    So wanna just leave them to it??? let the people over there figure it out for them selves??? I for one think that we need to fix what we break ( PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY).
    We should be thankful we have a President that actually LISTENS to ADVICE and THINKS – prior to jumping in with both feet.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. josh

    karzai is a tool

    April 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    yeah Karzai will do fine. after all, Bush put him in.

    April 18, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. leandro Baterina Jr.

    the us is cohooting again with a corrupt goverment so long as their agenda is not compromiised.we should learn from the past.vietnam,Iraq,el salvador and others.the biggest problem are the bread and butter of afghaniistan which is the poppy fields contolled by landlords talibans and karzai.why are we giving billions to a illigitimate govt.?we could use those funds at home.

    April 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sergio

    At what point does using soft power make you seem.... well, soft. Obama may go down as the weakest foreign policy president in history.

    April 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. zotquix

    "Typical "Obamaism"...nothing was going right until "he" took office."

    He didn't say that.

    "Little do people know that the same troop build-up he takes credit for was already in the works under the previous administration, based on the success of the surge in Iraq."

    The same surge in Afghanistan that has been tremendously unpopular here at home? I don't think he's exactly out to steal credit. However he is the current CinC.

    "Mr. Obama simply listened to his military leadership and signed-off on their plans, all of which were in ther works prior to his taking office."

    Oh my gosh! He listened to people and took their advice! What arrogance!

    This is all a distraction from the point. Karzai is a mess. An Arafat in the making, but this one is also high on opium. We should remove him, burn the opium fields to the ground and then salt the earth. Everyone's afraid of being imperial in Afghanistan, but we're there, let's take control of the situation. Empires go there to die? Not this time.

    April 16, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Maurice

    You should ask your viewers if President Obama would have added all his portion of the debt if he had former President Bush's situation coming into office?

    April 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ajmal

    ""If Hamid Karzai knows what's good for him,he'd collaborate with the West.Remember what happened to Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in Vietnam back in 1963???"" Remember what happend to USA then.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. michael

    karzai needs to astart reforms in his nation and actively pursue the taliban if he wants saftey in his nation

    April 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Iraq Paramedic

    Obama himself only has 2 years as a state legislator & 2 years as a US senator as his experiance to be president. He only got elected on the color of his skin & I know hundreds of black people from Africa, America, Egypt, Jamaca & more that will tell you the same thing. And this guy is telling seasoned millitary leaders what to do & he thinks the most corrupt drug family, the Kharzi's, are going to make good stewarts of Afghanistan. And yes you can bet your ass that the rest of Hamids cronies i.e. his brother Wali & his cousins & uncles are making the calls from behind the lines. They may even truely want the Taliban gone but, only so they can take over.
    I use to tell people I am Christian then American then Texan but, now it is Christian, Texan, American. My country has fallen to far off our GODly, Christian roots & we have allowed the liberal, ungodly, immoral to take the USA down a bad road & the USA is no longer respected in the world so how can this president,Obama, expect to direct Afghanistan into any type of decent governance.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  19. jackson

    Typical "Obamaism"...nothing was going right until "he" took office. What arrogance! Little do people know that the same troop build-up he takes credit for was already in the works under the previous administration, based on the success of the surge in Iraq. Mr. Obama simply listened to his military leadership and signed-off on their plans, all of which were in ther works prior to his taking office.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  20. Nathanael [desert voice]

    The article oscillates in the category of wishful thinking, not reality. What good does it that "he can be"? I prefer to deal with reality. And the reality is: he is not! He is not what Afghanistan needs today! And neither the U.S. knows, what he problem really is! Is there anyone better candidate in sight? Any educated Pashtuns out there, in England, France, Canada, or the U.S.? Afghanistan needs a true leader, not a viper in a green, fancy toga, even though every elder in there will tell you otherwise. Many of these elders would settle for Omar, Others would be most happy with the brother of President Karzai. Their minds are limited and obstructed by centuries of ignorance, hatred, and bickering. President Karzai knows this. In fact, this is the only thing he probably knows, besides that the U.S. wants to leave. He, and all the medieval shakers there, is waiting for the "bad dream" – the Obama Dream – to go away. He wants power, absolute power, after that. I don't know what more to say. Put "the girl without nose" as "Interim President," along with a U.S. Military Governor. Some really drastic change needs to be tried, not "more of the same"! We seem to be getting "more of the same" in Iraq, already. That's enough!

    April 15, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  21. Daniel

    If Hamid Karzai knows what's good for him,he'd collaborate with the West.Remember what happened to Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in Vietnam back in 1963???

    April 15, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |