Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton says Afghan President Hamid Karzai will likely end up “swinging from a lamppost” once the Taliban takes over after U.S. forces leave Afghanistan next year.
“I think he'll swing from a lamppost. That's how you end your term in Afghanistan traditionally,” Bolton told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night.
“And for him to push the United States out when you have a president who is already looking for the exit door is a big mistake. Whatever he thinks his domestic upside is, [politically] he's making a big mistake treating the United States this way.”
Bolton was referring to anti-American comments from Karzai, including his recent accusation that the Obama administration was colluding with Taliban insurgents to keep Karzai's government in check.
Karzai has since said his remarks were misconstrued by the media.
But Bolton said it took Karzai “a long time to make that correction.”
“He's playing a very dangerous game,” Bolton continued. “If he thinks that offending the United States is going to be helpful here in Congress where many people now, including a lot of Republicans, are saying, 'We need to get out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later,' he is dooming himself to living with the Taliban.
“And he won't find it pleasant,” Bolton added.
Asked if he believes the Taliban will take over the country again once American troops are gone, Bolton said, “I think the Obama administration's plans are going to bring the Taliban to power sooner rather than later, and the consequences for us and for Afghanistan are going to be devastating.”
“These people have not modified their views [from] most extremists,” he added. “And I think they see in the Arab spring confirmation that Islam is moving in a more radical direction. I hope they're wrong, but that's not the evidence that they see.”
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