January 21st, 2011
08:58 AM ET

Analysts: Inauguration delay could spark more violence

President Hamid Karzai's decision to postpone the inauguration of the Afghan parliament could spark ethnic divisions and more violence, analysts warned Friday.

Winners and losers of the September parliamentary elections have traded accusations of fraud and irregularities, and accused each other of providing incentives to the Taliban.

The election results saw a power shift in parliament - with reduced representation from the country's predominantly Pashtun south - Karzai's power base - to one that is more Tajik and Hazara heavy. FULL POST

Karzai, brothers do not own security firms, official says
December 21st, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Karzai, brothers do not own security firms, official says

Following allegations earlier in the year that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his brothers owned private security companies, Interior Ministry adviser Abdul Manan Farahi said an investigation by the ministry concluded they did not.

"During the investigation we found out that President Karzai and his brothers do not have any private security companies and no private security companies have any links to them," Farahi said.

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Filed under: Karzai
December 14th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Renewed U.S. concerns about Karzai

As the U.S. readies its Afghan war review, a critical concern is Afghanistan's president. CNN's Barbara Starr reports.

WikiLeaks cables on Afghanistan show monumental corruption
December 3rd, 2010
10:46 AM ET

WikiLeaks cables on Afghanistan show monumental corruption

Hundreds of U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks paint a picture of corruption in Afghanistan at every level of government and society.

Cables from the U.S. ambassador in Kabul portray Afghan President Hamid Karzai as paranoid, with an "inability to grasp the most rudimentary principles of state-building." FULL POST

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Filed under: Karzai • WikiLeaks
December 1st, 2010
01:28 PM ET

WikiLeaks docs show US frustration on Karzai's prisoner releases

The early and pre-trial release of prisoners by the Afghan government, at times with the intervention of the country's president, has frustrated U.S. officials, diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks reveal.

In one case, Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his authority to pardon
five border police officers who were caught with 124 kilograms of heroin in
their police vehicle, according to an August 2009 State Department cable
published by WikiLeaks.

The policemen, known as the Zahir Five, were tried and convicted at the
Central Narcotics Tribunal, and sentenced to serve prison terms of 16 to 18
years each. But Karzai pardoned them, "on the grounds that they were distantly related to two individuals who had been martyred during the civil war."

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Filed under: Karzai • WikiLeaks
November 30th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Afghan progress being made despite tragic incidents, NATO leader says

Incidents similar to this week's fatal shooting of six U.S. troops should not overshadow the progress American forces have made in turning security over to the Afghans, NATO's supreme commander says.

The six were shot Monday by a gunman wearing an Afghan Border Police uniform.

Last summer, two U.S. civilians and an Afghan soldier were reported shot to death by another Afghan soldier. A "rogue" Afghan policeman was blamed for the November 2009 shootings deaths of five British troops in Helmand province.

"Afghanistan is going to be a roller coaster," Adm. James Stavridis, NATO's supreme commander, said Monday. "We're going to see ups and downs. I see gradual, steady progress in Afghanistan, and I remain cautiously optimistic that we're going to succeed in Afghanistan. And I think one of the keys is transition. It is turning security over to the Afghans themselves."

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Karzai • NATO
November 30th, 2010
09:47 AM ET

Galbraith: Karzai 'emotional, unstable'

Former U.S. diplomat Peter Galbraith says leaked classified documents confirm his assessment of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Filed under: Karzai
WikiLeaks: Karzai's brother denies drug dealing
November 30th, 2010
08:13 AM ET

WikiLeaks: Karzai's brother denies drug dealing

Two of the cables released by the WikiLeaks website this week paint an unflattering and somewhat unexpected portrait of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In a meeting with a senior U.S. diplomat last February, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who is the Kandahar provincial council chief, made the case that he, not the governor of Kandahar, was "the most powerful official in Kandahar and could deliver whatever is needed," according to a cable about the meeting leaked Sunday by WikiLeaks. His comments came just as the U.S. was about to focus its military efforts on Kandahar. FULL POST

November 19th, 2010
10:11 AM ET

Petraeus, Karzai meet to ease tensions after criticism of US raids

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, have met in an effort to ease tensions after the president criticized foreign forces operations in his country, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.

The two met Wednesday in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

Morrell said the meeting between the two ended with "no daylight between them." But a senior coalition official told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr that Karzai still "has reservations."

November 18th, 2010
02:18 PM ET

US, NATO to be in Afghanistan beyond 2014 security handover

Even with serious questions about President Hamid Karzai's commitment to the military strategy in Afghanistan, NATO members plan to announce an enduring presence there beyond 2014, the new target date for handing off security control to the Afghans.

At its weekend summit, NATO members will tout a three-year plan to
transfer security responsibilities by 2014 to the Afghans, beginning early next
year on a phased, conditions-based timeline, NATO officials told CNN.

NATO members plan to offer a message of reassurance to Afghanistan that
the alliance will remain engaged after security control is transferred to
Afghan forces. NATO will endorse an "enduring partnership" with Afghanistan,
specifically focused on developing Afghan security forces and police, officials