Karzai: US 'Mafia' Firms Are Looting My Nation

Demands contractors get out
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 4:16 AM CDT
Karzai: 'Mafia' US Firms Are Looting My Nation
Afghan President Hamid Karzai.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

In a rare US media appearance yesterday, Hamid Karzai blasted US private contractors in Afghanistan as "mafia-like" thieves and called for them to pull out of the country within the next four months. Appealing directly to US taxpayers on ABC's This Week, the Afghan president said the contractors waste money, foster corruption and impede the development of Afghanistan's own security forces.

"The more we wait the more we lose," Karzai said. "We have decided as an Afghan government to bring an end to the presence of these security companies who are not only causing corruption in this country but who are looting and stealing from the Afghan people." US officials say Afghan security forces are far from ready to take over from the private contractors.
(More Hamid Karzai stories.)

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