News / Asia

Afghan, US Tensions Threaten Orderly Transfer of Power

Afghan, US Tensions Threaten Orderly Transfer of Poweri
X
March 21, 2013 11:51 AM
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

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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid