By Mike Lillis - 11/05/11 06:32 PM EDT
A top U.S. general stationed in Afghanistan has been fired for recent criticisms of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller, deputy commander of NATO's effort to train Afghan forces, was terminated for an interview he gave Thursday in which he hammered Karzai as "erratic" and inarticulate, according to a statement issued Saturday by Lt. Gen. John Allen, the commander of the war in Afghanistan.
In Thursday's remarks, Fuller was incredulous that Karzai, in a recent interview with the Pakistani press, had indicated that Afghanistan would come to Pakistan's aid if the U.S. ever attacked.
“Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle!" Fuller told Politico. "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’?"
Allen said such comments can only undermine the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, which President Obama has made the centerpiece of the global war on terror.
“The Afghan people are an honorable people," Allen said, "and comments such as these will not keep us from accomplishing our most critical and shared mission—bringing about a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan."
Fuller's termination is effective immediately.