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Karzai warns US pullout deadline could be a boost for Taliban

The Afghan leader says that setting a deadline for US withdrawal simply gives the Taliban a date to work towards.

THE AFGHAN PRESIDENT Hamid Karzai has questioned the intelligence behind announcing a US withdrawal date from Afghanistan for July 2011.

Karzai points out that setting out plans so clearly could prove to be a “morale boost” to the Taliban.

His comments follow a similar line to those made by the head of the Marine Corps, General Green Conway, who commented:

In some ways, we think right now it is probably giving our enemy sustenance. In fact we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only need to hold out for so long.

The commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has also criticised the move.

Karzai met with US congressmen in the capital Kabul earlier in the week, after which he said in a statement that civilian deaths caused by allied troops were lending support to the Taliban.

An extra 30,000 troops have been sent to Afghanistan since December 2009 to deal with the insurgency threat.

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