The PJ Tatler

Afghanistan's Karzai Splits with US, Sides with Russia

Last week, Taliban militants stormed into the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing nine including children. The Serena was one of most heavily secured buildings in Kabul. The attack there follows many Taliban attacks on Afghan civilians and US forces, as well as Afghan forces attacks on American troops there.

But today, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai insists that “foreign intelligence agencies” are responsible for the Serena attack.

The Afghan government held foreign agencies of intelligence responsible for an attack against a luxury hotel in this city that left nine fatalities and various injured.

President Hamid Karzai’s management denied that groups of the political, social and military movement Taliban and Haqqani network were behind the attack.

Governmental sources said that the modus operandi did not match that of Afghanistan’s main groups of armed opposition.

“Foreign intelligence agencies” points to one of two likely targets — either Pakistan’s ISI or the US CIA. In January, Karzai aired his suspicions that the US was secretly instigating terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. He even published a list of a dozen attacks that he blamed on the US, while everyone else suspects the Taliban.

In what may be his final break with the US, Karzai is also siding with Russia over its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

Afghanistan this weekend joined Syria and Venezuela and became the newest member of a select club of nations: those that have publicly backed the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Citing “the free will of the Crimean people,” the office of President Hamid Karzai said, “we respect the decision the people of Crimea took through a recent referendum that considers Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.”

The New York Times points out that Afghanistan maintains a historic claim to a swath of Pakistan, and that may be motivating Karzai to side with Russia. If that is Karzai’s motivation, it’s ominous, suggesting that Afghanistan is ready to side with Russia should a regional war break out, if it gets Moscow’s backing to re-take that contested region of Pakistan.

Karzai’s government was installed by the US after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, to depose its Taliban regime because it harbored al Qaeda. Karzai has enjoyed the benefits of American defense ever since. According to a review by ABC News, 2,176 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began.