Afghan President Hamid Karzai has proven that while he is no puppet whose strings are pulled in Washington, he is a staunch, fearless opponent of Islamic terrorists.
That is precisely the type of ally the United States needs.
During a speech at the United Nations, Karzai made important points regarding involvement in Afghanistan by U.S. and other NATO troops.
He was highly critical of civilian casualties resulting from NATO action against Taliban troops. More needs to be done to protect innocent bystanders in Afghanistan, Karzai said.
But he also offered a recipe for avoiding more distrust among Afghans that will result from civilian casualties in the future. Build up the Afghan army and police so they can bear the brunt of fighting against the Taliban, Karzai urged.
A realist, Karzai added that in the short term, more NATO troops are needed to battle the Taliban. But in the long run, "Afghan-i-sation of the military operations is vital," he noted.
We agree. The Afghan people seem willing to fight for their freedom from Taliban oppression. Helping them do so should be a top priority for U.S. and NATO policy makers and generals.