Karzai calls for 9/11 re-think in ‘war on terror’


Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday called for a re-think in the “war on terror” as the Taliban taunted the United States with the prospect of “utter defeat” on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the worst terror strike on US soil saw troops invade Afghanistan to bring down the Taliban regime for sheltering Al-Qaeda and implant a Western-backed administration. The anniversary itself was muted in Afghanistan, where US and NATO troops organised small ceremonies to honour the dead.
The war has steadily lost popular support in the West and the bulk of the 117,000 NATO combat troops are preparing to withdraw by the end of 2014. At one commemoration, US General John Allen, NATO commander on the ground, gave an upbeat assessment of progress, saying that 76 percent of the population lives in areas transitioning to Afghan security lead. “In many areas, the people are no longer intimidated and terrorised by insurgent and extremist groups. And little girls bravely walk to school, each step a step of defiance to the Taliban,” he said.