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April 13, 2005
An Invitation From The Afghanis?

The BBC reports that Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai publicly stated that he wants a broader security relationship with the United States, possibly opening up an opportunity to build a network of outposts from which to fight Islamist terror. His remarks came during a brief visit from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who refused to elaborate on its specifics:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said his country wants a long-term security relationship with the United States. ...

Reports say the possibility of setting up permanent US military bases in Afghanistan figured in the discussions.

But Mr Rumsfeld skirted the issue.

"What we generally do when we work with another country [is] we find ways we can be helpful, maybe training, equipment or other types of assistance," he told a news conference.

Opening bases in primarily Muslim countries remains a sensitive topic during the war on terror, for obvious reasons, but an invitation from Karzai cannot be ignored. It also would allow the US to interdict a re-energized opium trade that has caused some friction between the two nations, and Karzai's remarks show that he wishes to be seen as part of the solution on both issues. It shows that the American efforts to secure and liberate Afghanistan continue to provide benefits to both countries and to enhance our ability to attack terrorism in the field before it reaches our shores.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 13, 2005 12:53 PM

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