Karzai orders US special forces out of Wardak Province

I’m not saying things are going to hell in a handbasket yet, but this isn’t a good sign. NBC News is now reporting that Hamid Karzai is directing all US special forces to leave Wardak Province, the location of recent insurgent activity and a trouble spot with the Taliban. The allegations he’s making certainly won’t do much for us on the public relations front, either.

We’re getting word that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces to leave Wardak Province within two weeks amid allegation of torture and disappearances centering on Afghans who are part of the U.S. forces.

“There are some individuals, some Afghans, who are working within these cells, within these [U.S.] special forces groups,” said Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Karzai. “But they are part of US special forces according to our sources and according to our local officials working in the province.”

The original report comes from the BBC and includes allegations that these Afghan units, trained by the US, are responsible for the beheading of a university student in the area. That sounds a lot more like the Taliban to me, but I suppose we’ll have to let them investigate and see. As we head toward what now seems to be the certain exit of US forces next year – starting this summer, actually – it’s not difficult to imagine things beginning to break down. I just didn’t think it would start this early, assuming this isn’t just an isolated glitch.

We’ll update here later if more information comes out.