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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid