News / Asia

Karzai Shows No Indication of Signing Security Agreement

Afghan President Shows No Indication of Signing Security Agreement With Washingtoni
X
March 01, 2014 2:54 AM
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has not yet agreed to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement [BSA] with the United States. The agreement would determine the scope of activity for American troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai has been a U.S. ally for more than a decade -- but in the waning days of his presidency, he has had disagreements with Washington on several issues, including the signing of the BSA. VOA’s Kokab Farshori looks at the reasons behind the Afghan president’s refusal to sign the agreement.
Afghan President Shows No Indication of Signing Security Agreement With Washington
Kokab Farshori
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has not yet agreed to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement [BSA] with the United States. The agreement would determine the scope of activity for American troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai has been a U.S. ally for more than a decade -- but in the waning days of his presidency, he has had disagreements with Washington on several issues, including the signing of the BSA.

U.S. combat troops are drawing down from Afghanistan as planned. But the other part of the plan -- to leave some U.S. and NATO forces behind for training and peacekeeping missions -- is still unclear.  

That's because the Afghan government has so far refused to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA. Karzai’s office has said he wants U.S. assurances that it will play a key role in peace talks with the Taliban and stop nighttime raids on Afghan homes.  

Neither reason is legitimate, said Peter Tomsen, a former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan. "I think there is a smokescreen because he knows that the United States cannot force Pakistan to force the Taliban to negotiate honestly. On the night raids, we have done everything we possibly can," he said.

Scott Smith, with Washington’s U.S. Institute of Peace, has a different view of Karzai's motivation. "He has had several frustrations that for him are real and visceral. One of them is what he sees as violation of sovereignty. House raids, civilian casualties by international military forces. I think part of his explanation of his attitude on BSA is an accumulation of being ignored on this issue despite the fact that he has raised them repeatedly," said Smith.
   
VOA’s Akmal Dawi was recently in Afghanistan -- interviewing the leading candidates in the upcoming presidential election and also taking the pulse of the Afghan people.

"There is a widespread perception that this agreement is crucial for the future of Afghanistan. That after 2014, Afghan forces alone, without international support, would not be able to stave off the insurgency," said Dawi. "That’s why they believe that signing the bilateral [agreement] and also another agreement with NATO will secure the future of Afghanistan from a possible Taliban takeover.

But if this agreement is so important for the Afghan people, then why is President Karzai not signing it?

"He was raised up to the level of leadership by the United States," said former U.S. envoy Tomsen. "And Afghans look at foreign-selected leaders in a negative light. So, he still has that cloud hanging over him as he leaves office and he would like to push back on that."

Other experts believe Karzai is unwilling to sign the agreement because he may want to remain relevant in the decision-making process until the very end.

"The BSA is the last thing that he has to offer the U.S. and the international community," said Smith. "So, to some degree, when he signs the BSA, he is signing his resignation from the presidency. So, I think he wants to hold on to that as long as possible."

Many experts are sure an agreement between Washington and Kabul will be signed. If not by this Afghan government, then by the next one.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
March 01, 2014 3:59 PM
China, Russia, and four of the "stans" in the SCO have agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave in 2014. China has a more pragmatic attitude to aid without demands for complete social and cultural revolutions before projects are built. Afghans also know that China has deeper pockets than the West with a faster rising economy. China's 2013 GDP growth rate was 7.7% compared to 1.9% in the US. That's 4 to 1 in favor of China, and Afghanistan wants that, too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid