Washington: Afghanistan is being run by a
corrupt government overrun by opium sales and insensitive to
the need to take care of its people, an influential US
lawmaker has said, pressing for a July 2011 withdrawal
deadline and for the government to take ownership of the
"I saw a corrupt government overrun by opium sales,
not understanding the need to take care of the people and
making them stakeholders in their own victory," Congresswoman
Sheila Jackson-Lee told in an interview.
Jackson-Lee, who has just returned from a visit to the
war-torn Afghanistan, said the current situation in that
country is troubling.
"My assessment is that, as the military remains
resilient, but lives are ascending in loss as our allied
forces continue to work with us, we cannot be detracted by
phony comments about typographing our departure to the enemy,"
She argued that the US forces should leave the country
by July 2011 and that the Afghan government has to take
responsibility of their country`s security completely.
"We must leave. We should leave by July 2011. We
should hand over the enforcement of security to the Afghan
national security forces, which will be upwards of 300,000 by
that time," she said.
"We need to continue to work with the Afghan people on
reconstructing. But this is a civil war. Al Qaeda is not
there. And we cannot continue to undermine the United States
military by staying in this war," Jackson-Lee said.
Disagreeing with the argument that Afghanistan will
not be ready by then, she said the government must prepare
itself, reform and fight corruption.
"The central government has to take ownership of this
conflict. President (Hamid) Karzai must stand against
"Families earning USD 900 million of our money,
individuals losing USD 3 million in Las Vegas and laughing
about it from the Afghanistan hierarchy," she said.
She said the Afghan national security forces have to
be trained to take over and that "they`ve got to take charge".
"What I believe is that we have the technical help to
put the Afghan troops forward and to let them take charge.
"As long as we continue the Vietnam trail of saying we
have not declared victory, we`re typographing to the enemy,
you will see the same kind of evacuation that we tragically
saw with helicopters leaving Vietnam as it did some 30, 40
years ago. I don`t want that," she said.