Wikileaks doc: Karzai longing for “golden age” of Bush administration

“Karzai then returned to a familiar theme, his wish for Afghan-U.S. relations to recover the spirit of 2002-04 — a period Karzai sees as a ‘golden age’ in the relationship,” wrote Eikenberry in a July 16 cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. “He would like for U.S. forces to again be able to drive their humvees through villages, greeted warmly by villagers who would shout, ‘Good morning, Sergeant Thompson.’ Karzai claimed, as he has many times, that his concern over the erosion of public trust in the U.S. was a driving factor in his increasingly strident criticism regarding civilian casualties, night raids and detentions.”

Eikenberry took issue with Karzai’s characterization of that period being a “golden age” — and reminded him that he should be looking forward to the future rather than back to the past. Even in 2002-2004, Eikenberry told Karzai, it was clear that “trouble was brewing as the focus on security and reconstruction drifted and declined due to lack of resources and a comprehensive strategy.”