Hamid's Shadow: Karzai Confidant Takes Aim at Afghan Presidency

Hamid's Shadow: Karzai Confidant Takes Aim at Afghan Presidency

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 27, 2014

Zalmai Rassoul has long been a close political ally of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Now, he is campaigning to succeed his mentor. With Karzai backing Rassoul, many believe the outgoing leader is seeking to retain his influence. By Susanne Koelbl more... Comment ]

Troop Withdrawal: Aid Groups Warn of Afghan Security Vacuum

Troop Withdrawal: Aid Groups Warn of Afghan Security Vacuum

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 30, 2013

The looming end of NATO operations in Afghanistan is creating a security vacuum that puts the entire purpose of the international mission at risk. Aid groups may have to scale down their operations, and Berlin is alarmed at US threats of total withdrawal. By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]

Exodus: Afghan Diplomats Defect as Western Withdrawal Nears

Exodus: Afghan Diplomats Defect as Western Withdrawal Nears

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 24, 2013

The situation in Afghanistan is becoming so precarious that Afghan diplomats no longer want to return to their homeland. Up to 100 foreign service employees set for rotation back to Kabul from assignments abroad have now defected. By Hasnain Kazim more... Comment ]

Afghanistan Exit: Kabul and Berlin Estranged as Withdrawal Looms

Afghanistan Exit: Kabul and Berlin Estranged as Withdrawal Looms

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 14, 2013

With the security situation deteriorating in Afghanistan, Chancellor Merkel paid a visit to German troops last week without even informing Afghan President Karzai. The move highlights frosty relations between Berlin and Kabul amid difficult negotiations for the 2014 troop withdrawal.  By Ralf Beste, Matthias Gebauer and Gordon Repinski more... Comment ]

Negotiations in Afghanistan: Karzai Asks Berlin for Help with Taliban Talks

Negotiations in Afghanistan: Karzai Asks Berlin for Help with Taliban Talks

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 23, 2012

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked Germany to act as a discreet go-between with the Taliban in the hopes of paving the way for eventual peace talks. It is a role that Germany has played before -- in an effort that was ultimately torpedoed by Karzai himself. By Matthias Gebauer more...

Leaving Afghanistan: NATO Members Spar over Post-Withdrawal Financing

Leaving Afghanistan: NATO Members Spar over Post-Withdrawal Financing

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 19, 2012

NATO has promised it will provide significant financial support to Afghanistan over the next decade. Reaching agreement on who will pay how much is proving difficult, however. Aside from the US, all member states are doing their best to keep their share as small as possible. By Matthias Gebauer more...

The World from Berlin: 'Karzai Only Said What Everyone Already Thinks'

The World from Berlin: 'Karzai Only Said What Everyone Already Thinks'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 16, 2012

On Thursday, President Hamid Karzai unexpectedly called on Western military forces to end their mission to Afghanistan a year before the planned withdrawal date of 2014. In Friday's newspapers, German commentators speculate on whether this will trigger a rush to exit despite the dangers this presents. more...

The World from Berlin: Urination Video 'Causes More Damage than Taliban Attacks'

The World from Berlin: Urination Video 'Causes More Damage than Taliban Attacks'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 13, 2012

American officials were swift to condemn new video images of four US Marines apparently urinating on the dead bodies of three Taliban fighters, and have started investigating the matter. German commentators say quick punishment for the men is the only option, if possible peace talks with the Taliban are to be salvaged. more...

Talking to the Enemy: How German Diplomats Opened Channel to Taliban

Talking to the Enemy: How German Diplomats Opened Channel to Taliban

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 10, 2012

After months of secret negotiations, the Taliban are opening a political office in Qatar, a first step toward peace talks between the US and the group. The breakthrough was largely due to painstaking German diplomacy. But it could be years before the initiative bears fruit. By Christoph Reuter, Gregor Peter Schmitz and Holger Stark more...

Power Plays in Afghanistan: Laying the Groundwork for Civil War

Power Plays in Afghanistan: Laying the Groundwork for Civil War

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 05, 2011

The Bonn conference on Afghanistan aimed to paint an optimistic future for the war-torn country. But the country's inhabitants have no illusions: They know that their military cannot protect them, and that the warlords are jockeying for position. Meanwhile, the Taliban are just waiting for the Americans to leave. By Christoph Reuter in Khanabad, Afghanistan more... Comment ]

Afghanistan Controversy: Karzai Warns US over Night Raids

Afghanistan Controversy: Karzai Warns US over Night Raids

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 05, 2011

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai wants the US to cease carrying out night raids in his country. And he is willing to risk damaging relations with Washington to get his way. He told SPIEGEL that if the raids don't cease, talks about America's post-2014 presence in the country could break down. By Matthias Gebauer more...

SPIEGEL Interview with Hamid Karzai: 'The Efforts in Afghanistan Are a Shared Responsibility'

SPIEGEL Interview with Hamid Karzai: 'The Efforts in Afghanistan Are a Shared Responsibility'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 05, 2011

NATO foreign ministers are gathered in Bonn on Monday to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan. SPIEGEL spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who will be leading the conference, about how much international involvement will be required following the 2014 withdrawal and about his rocky partnership with the US. more...