Karzai Demands U.S. Halt Air Strikes

President Obama welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to the White House this week, but Karzai’s comments may overshadow any good will engendered at the meet and greet. After U.S. warplanes attacked two villages in the past week, allegedly killing 147 civilians, Karzai told CNN, “We demand an end to these operations…and end to the air strikes.” He continued: “We cannot justify in any manner, for whatever number of Taliban or for whatever number of significantly important terrorists, the accidental or otherwise loss of civilians.” Lately violence in the region has been at its highest level since late 2001. President Obama is expected to double the troop numbers in Afghanistan by the end of the year.