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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.