WORLD

Karzai asks Obama not to order steep troop withdrawal

President Hamid Karzai of Afgha­nis­tan has asked President Barack Oba­ma not to order a steep withdrawal of American troops this year because his own forces are unprepared to cope with the threat of the Taliban, accor­ding to officials quoted by The Tele­graph. Karzai’s cabinet ministers and security aides are deeply concerned by reports that the United States will pull out tens of thousands of troops of its 100,000 troops in the country, ahead of the US presidential election in autumn 2012. Obama held a monthly videoconference with the Af­ghan president on Wednesday as US security advisers and generals continued to debate the scale and pace of the withdrawal, which the US president has promised will begin next month.

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