Entries in Zalmay Khalilzad (1)


Former Top Diplomat Says US Ambassador to Afghanistan Must Go

Karl W. Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Photo Courtesy - U.S. Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, tells ABC News that America's current ambassador there, Karl Eikenbury, should go because his relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been irreparably damaged by leaks.

"I think he has -- really, he's been damaged very badly by the leaks that have taken place, here in Washington, before WikiLeaks and afterwards. And a trusting relationship, if that's his objective, and I believe it ought to be, would require, I think, changes in terms of personnel that are responsible on a day to day basis in dealing with President Karzai," Khalilzad said.

He said the Obama administration has not managed their relationship with Karzai well.

"I think this goes back to ... Ambassador Eikenbury's cable as an input to the strategy review -- a very highly-classified cable -- was leaked, damaging his relationship with President Karzai," Khalilzad said. "And then all the discussions that are in the book of Mr. Woodward, the leaking of extremely classified stuff, was far more damaging to the relationship and the management of the relationship with Karzai then the WikiLeaks."

"There is a huge trust deficit," Khalilzad, who was born in Afghanistan, said. "If we want to deal with the issue of partnership with the government of Afghanistan, if we want to deal with the issue of domestic politics effectively, of capitalizing cooperation, we would need to have a new team to be able to do that."

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