News / Asia

Afghan, US Tensions Threaten Orderly Transfer of Power

Afghan, US Tensions Threaten Orderly Transfer of Poweri
X
March 21, 2013
Tensions between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. military officials are threatening an orderly transfer of security responsibility ahead of the NATO and U.S. troop withdrawal next year. Disagreements over the role and location of U.S. troops are fueling controversy and mistrust as we hear in this report from VOA correspondent Meredith Buel.

Afghan, US Tensions Threaten Orderly Transfer of Power

TEXT SIZE - +
Meredith Buel
Tensions between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. military officials are threatening an orderly transfer of security responsibility ahead of the NATO and U.S. troop withdrawal next year.  Disagreements over the role and location of U.S. troops are fueling controversy and mistrust.
 
Shouting “death to America,” hundreds of protesters recently traveled from Wardak province to the Afghan capital Kabul demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered U.S. Special Forces out of Wardak after accusations that Afghans working for them tortured residents. Khalilullah Ibrahimkhail is a Wardak resident.
 
“We have gathered here to protest against the Special Forces in Wardak, because they enter people’s houses and torture innocent people," he said. 
 
While U.S. military leaders denied the allegations, Special Forces remained in Wardak.
 
The province is close to Kabul, and its security is considered important in keeping insurgents from infiltrating the capital.
 
An agreement was announced Wednesday to gradually pull U.S. soldiers out of Wardak.
 
Earlier, another controversy erupted as President Karzai accused the U.S. of being in collusion with the Taliban.
 
“There are ongoing daily talks between the Taliban, Americans and foreigners in Europe and in the Gulf states," he said. 
 
The accusations complicated U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent trip to Afghanistan.
 
A joint news conference with Karzai was abruptly cancelled as was the planned handover of Bagram Prison.

Secretary Hagel said any peace talks would be led by the Afghans. “I told the [Afghan] president it was not true that the United States was unilaterally working with the Taliban in trying to negotiate anything," he said. 
 
Talks between the U.S. and the Taliban designed to start an Afghan peace process were suspended a year ago.

Analysts who have recently traveled to Afghanistan say there is little faith such negotiations would produce a meaningful reconciliation.

Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“[There is] great concern that the peace negotiations might turn out to be hollow and little more than an extension of war by other means," he said.

There are now more than 350,000 Afghan troops nationwide, but doubt remains about whether they can protect the country.

Elections are scheduled for next year, but security and transparency are concerns.
 
“It is already clear that this is going to be a time of very deep tension.  It is something where everyone we talked to was concerned, sometimes frightened of what might happen," said Cordesman.

There are currently about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The total is expected to drop to about half that number by early next year.

No final decisions have been made about the size of a residual force after most of the troops have left at the end of 2014. 

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid