A US general has been sacked after slamming Afghan leaders as out of touch and ungrateful for American support in an interview, NATO and the US military today.
Major General Peter Fuller, deputy commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan for allied forces, has been relieved "effective immediately" a day after the publication of his "inappropriate public comments," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
"These unfortunate comments are neither indicative of our current solid relationship with the Government of Afghanistan, its leadership, or our joint commitment to prevail here in Afghanistan," said the commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, US General John Allen.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta fully backed the decision, spokesman Captain John Kirby told AFP.
"The secretary has full trust and confidence in Gen Allen's judgment with respect to his decision in this case," Capt Kirby said in an email.
In an interview published by the Politico news website on Thursday, Gen Fuller said that Afghan leaders he had met with were "isolated from reality" and did not fully appreciate the sacrifices in "treasure and blood" that the United States was making for the country.
He said a senior Afghan official had asked for the delivery of US tanks just so they could be used for parades, and heaped scorn on Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Referring to Mr Karzai's recent remarks that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a war against the United States, Gen Fuller said: "Why don't you just poke me in the eye with a needle! You've got to be kidding me -- I'm sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion and now you're telling me, 'I don't really care?'"
Gen Fuller added: "When they are going to have a presidential election, you hope they get a guy that's more articulate in public."
His comments reflected the frustration privately expressed by many US officers and civilian officials with Karzai and his corruption-plagued government.
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