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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid