News / Asia

Karzai Agrees to US Request for Bases

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Kabul University in Kabul, May 9, 201
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Kabul University in Kabul, May 9, 201
Ayaz Gul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai disclosed Thursday the United States wants to keep nine bases in his country after the 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat troops. The Afghan leader says Kabul is ready to let Washington have those bases, but it wants security and economic guarantees for Afghanistan. 

For months, Afghanistan and the United States have been engaged in talks on a bilateral deal that would define the American military presence in the country after 2014, when most U.S. and NATO troops will have withdrawn.

However, both sides have offered few details until now.
On Thursday, Karzai said at a ceremony at Kabul University that discussions on the security agreement have entered a “crucial stage.”  He revealed for the first time that Washington is seeking control of nine bases across Afghanistan, including one in eastern Jalalabad city bordering Pakistan and one in western Herat near the Iranian border.  
Karzai said that the presence of U.S. bases and the American relationship with Afghanistan past 2014 is good for the country's future. But he added Afghans will demand that America try hard to quickly bring peace to Afghanistan, strengthen its security forces and promise long-term economic development. Karzai said he would be prepared to sign a partnership deal when those demands are met.
Washington is considering how to let some U.S. and coalition forces stay in Afghanistan after 2014 to continue the anti-terrorism campaign against al-Qaida operatives in addition to training and advising Afghan security forces.
Media have reported that Karzai’s recent strong criticism of the United States has hurt progress in talks to finalize the proposed agreement.  In one of his statements in March, when it appeared that the strategic document was about to be signed, the Afghan president suggested that the United States and Taliban insurgents were in collusion to keep American forces in Afghanistan.
Media reports also say that Karzai is demanding Washington side with his country if neighboring Pakistan poses a threat to Afghan security, but that U.S. officials have so far refused to agree to that demand. Border tensions between the two countries have been running high in recent weeks after clashes over a Pakistani border post that Kabul claims is well within its territory.
While speaking in Islamabad Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry again denied any encroachment.  
"We have just shown maximum restraint," he said. "This post has been in existence since 2004 and, for us, these posts are meant to serve a very useful purpose. They are intended to better manage borders so that there is no cross-border infiltration. This is something which is in the mutual benefit of the two countries," Chaudhry said.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The spokesman also rejected Karzai’s recent assertions that the border between the two countries, called the Durand Line, is not acceptable to Afghanistan, and said it is a settled issue.

Chaudhry also advised the Afghan leader to focus on pressing issues facing Afghanistan like peace and security instead of opening the border debate.

Despite widespread international recognition, Afghans have never accepted the 2,600-kilometer frontier established in 1893 during British rule in India.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
May 09, 2013 10:51 PM
As to get some more years with luxury this is good decision. We have seen economic up lift of Afghani peoples and up lift of ruling family. His brother is doing property business in Dubai. Now any body can guess from where he got millions dollars to do property and other business in Dubai and rest of the world. He is dummy and main player is some body else.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 09, 2013 9:59 PM
The cost of mantaining so many bases, in human and economic terms will be astronomically high 20-30 trillion dollars in 20 yrs or even more trillions.... In addition, such bases would be only allowed to operate aircraft at Karzai's whim, and only between Karzai's frequent anti US/NATO temper tantrums; and sooner or later they would be held to ransom; fuel and supplies could be cutoff at any time by anyone; the terrorist would use such bases for target practice; large numbers of US ground forces (at least 1200 per base) would be required to defend the bases 24/7/365, in addition, another 500 to 700 would be required to support and carry out airops/ mantenance/ support work, etc, for a total required personnel of 2000 per base, grand total 18,000 people, and safety/ security would still be risky; never mind that the next Afghan president may want different terms and conditions.

This strategy, of boots on the ground/aircraft on the ground, on nine Bases, in Afghanistan, makes no sense whatsoever. A far better and cheaper solution, if you need to have aircraft in the area, is to design and build 1000 (one thousand) B1/2 advanced long range stealth/hypersonic strategic bombers. Such a solution would keep the money in the USA; would not be subject to all the problems mentioned; on the long run it would be cheaper (money stays in the US), than to continue to sink trillons in the Afghan sink hole; and the new aircraft could be used for other global strategic missions, as required. Continued NATO or just US presence, on the ground, in Afghanistan makes ZERO SENSE!

by: Haron from: Afghanistan
May 09, 2013 2:59 PM
it had better to stabilize Afghanistan without big devil (Britain) if any movement in Afghanistan can be a damage. i think one British Soldier mustn't be Afghanistan. we hate big devil (Britain) I demand from Obama and Karzai. if they consist UK's soldier in this agreement the environment will suppose an undemocratic government rather than democratic government on that time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs