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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

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