News / Asia

Afghan, US Officials Discuss Post-2014 Security Pact

U.S. marines of Fox Co, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Regiment get a biometric scan of an Afghan local police trainee before the start of a basic police course training at Combat Outpost Musa Qal-Ah in Helmand province, October 31, 2012.
U.S. marines of Fox Co, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Regiment get a biometric scan of an Afghan local police trainee before the start of a basic police course training at Combat Outpost Musa Qal-Ah in Helmand province, October 31, 2012.
Sharon Behn
Afghan and U.S. officials are to meet in Kabul Thursday to hammer out a post-2014 security pact outlining the role the United States will play in Afghanistan's security once international combat forces leave the country.  Afghans are pushing the U.S. to remain a long-term partner, but with limits.
 
There is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen in Afghanistan after international combat forces pull out at the end of 2014. Much of the concern is about how the Afghan government and security forces will deal with militants and neighbors Pakistan and Iran, and what role the United States will continue to play.
 
In May this year, Washington signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Kabul that could keep a contingent of American troops in Afghanistan after 2014 as advisors and trainers. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Musazai says the upcoming talks will focus on the specifics of long-term security cooperation between the two countries.
 
He says the main propose of the security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States of America is to determine the number and main mission of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014, as well as security and military cooperation between two countries after 2014, within the framework of the Strategic Partnership.
 
Discussion points will likely include the location and number of bases, and the sensitive question of legal jurisdiction over the remaining in-country U.S. personnel. Washington has emphasized that any crimes committed should be tried in the United States.
 
Past actions by U.S. soldiers -- such as the alleged killing of 16 civilians by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, and burnings of the Quran -- have infuriated Afghans. President Hamid Karzai is under pressure to insist that any remaining U.S. military personnel may be prosecuted in local courts.
 
Failure to strike a similar deal on immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq essentially ended the American military presence in that country.
 
The U.S. has declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, a fact that former military and intelligence officer Jawed Kohistani hopes will mean the security agreement will ensure the U.S. will defend Afghanistan from outside interference, particularly from its neighbors Pakistan and Iran.

"If we are attacked from outside our borders, the United States should come and defend this territory," Kohistani said. "When other intelligence services are involved here, they should provide strong intelligence support to Afghans, and if there are spies in our government from other countries, they should remove them and also support the NDS [Afghan intelligence service], and take more actions against neighboring intelligence services."
 
Pakistan has been accused of not doing enough to eliminate militant groups inside its borders, such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that has carried out large-scale attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces.
 
A Haqqani leader this week said his group would be willing to negotiate a peace settlement if the Taliban were to take the lead. But reconciliation talks with the Taliban, which remains resilient across much of southern and eastern Afghanistan, stalled out earlier this year.
 
On Tuesday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a rocket attack in Kabul that hit an area near the city's international airport and close to a private TV station, killing one and injuring several others.
 
In Pakistan, Afghanistan's High Peace Council has been talking with senior Pakistani military and government officials to break the deadlock over negotiations with the Taliban. Pakistan said it had agreed to release several Taliban detainees, a move Afghans see as a way to bring the Taliban to the table.
 
The US-Afghan talks are expected to continue for months.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs