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 Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid