Defense Secretary Critical of U.S. Help for Afghan Prez.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says U.S. administrations have done a "lousy job" listening to the complaints of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and responding seriously to his concerns.
Gates defended the Afghan government on Wednesday in response to lawmakers' contention that the Afghan government is one of the most corrupt in the world. The defense secretary testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee.
Gates said Karzai repeatedly spoke to U.S. officials about out of control private security companies and civilian casualties, but made little headway with American officials. This prompted some of Karzai's fiercest criticisms of the United States.
Some budget-cutting Democrats and Republicans in Congress are questioning U.S. aid to Afghanistan.

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