Former US defense secretary Robert Gates' tell-all book reveals that the Americans tried to engineer a coup in 2009 against Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.
The US government tried to oust the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, by manipulating elections in 2009, in what amounted to a "clumsy and failed putsch", the former defence secretary Robert Gates has been quoted as writing in his memoirs.
Karzai has long claimed that the US tried to manipulate the poll to remove him from office, while Washington insisted it was an impartial supporter of democracy. The revelations in Gates's account of his years in power, which is published next week and covers the war in Afghanistan, appear to vindicate the Afghan leader's suspicions.
The top US diplomat Richard Holbrooke supported Karzai's rivals in the hope of pushing the poll to a second round that the incumbent would lose, Foreign Policy magazine reported.
"It was all ugly: our partner, the president of Afghanistan, was tainted, and our hands were dirty as well," Gates is quoted writing.
Karzai has cited concerns about foreign interference in a vote to choose his successor later this year as one reason for the delay in signing a long-term security pact with Washington to keep troops in the country after their combat mission ends later this year.
In his book, Gates also claims that the Bush/Cheney war of choice against Iraq severely undermined America's military campaign in Afghanistan. Do tell.