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

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden 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