What pushed U.S.-Afghan relations over the edge?

BY Larisa Epatko  April 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM EST


New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall talks about her coverage of the war in Afghanistan and why she chooses conflict areas to report.

The relationship between U.S. officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took a nosedive after he was forced into a runoff when seeking a second term, said journalist and author Carlotta Gall.

“It was so sad because it didn’t need to happen,” she told PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan in a web-only portion of their interview. Their full conversation about her latest book, “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014,” airs on Thursday.

In 2009, Karzai thought he’d won the presidential election outright. But after allegations of corruption and subsequent pressure by the U.S., he submitted to a runoff election. “I remember seeing the humiliation when he had to admit that” he hadn’t won at a press conference, said Gall.

Karzai became convinced that Americans had tried to oust him, and he never got over it, she said. He also thought the U.S. government “was undermining his efforts to make peace with the Taliban.”

In her interview, she also spoke about how the U.S. surge of troops worked to bring added security to Afghanistan, and where Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban, might be.

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