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Former Afghan president says the U.S. and international community failed in his country

"Where are they leaving us now?” Hamid Karzai said. "In total disgrace and disaster."

Updated: June 21, 2021 - 12:14pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that the international community has failed to eradicate extremism and usher in stability in his country.

"The international community came here 20 years ago with this clear objective of fighting extremism and bringing stability ... but extremism is at the highest point today. So they have failed," Karzai said, according to the Associated Press. "We recognize as Afghans all our failures, but what about the bigger forces and powers who came here for exactly that purpose? Where are they leaving us now?” he said. "In total disgrace and disaster."

During Karzai’s rule from 2001-2014, much in Afghanistan was modernized, and girls again were allowed to attend school. His reign also brought allegations of corruption, and included disagreements with the United States. 

Karzai expressed the view today that it will be better for his nation that the troops depart.

"We will be better off without their military presence," Karzai said. "I think we should defend our own country and look after our own lives. ... Their presence (has given us) what we have now. ... We don’t want to continue with this misery and indignity that we are facing. It is better for Afghanistan that they leave," he said.

"The (US/NATO military) campaign was not against extremism or terrorism, the campaign was more against Afghan villages and hopes; putting Afghan people in prisons, creating prisons in our own country ... and bombing all villages. That was very wrong," Karzai said.