Clinton Reassures Afghans Of US Long-Term Support

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded Tuesday that U.S. relations with Afghanistan are strained, but assured President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. will stand behind his country long after the last American soldier is gone.A day before Karzai meets President Barack Obama at the White House, Clinton and other senior administration officials gathered at the State Department with their Afghan counterparts for talks on how to force the Taliban to end their insurgency.The backdrop to the meetings is a rocky relationship between the Obama administration and Karzai, and Tuesday's talks were designed to present at least the appearance of a partnership on the mend.The Obama administration in the past criticized Karzai for tolerating corruption and drug trafficking in his government, while Karzai has accused Washington of failing to give him the support he needs to govern.In opening remarks, Clinton and Karzai stressed the positive but acknowledged that sharp differences have complica