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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid