News / Asia

Karzai, US Officials Consider Afghan Future

U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne aim at the entrance to a cave outside the village of Malakay, Afghanistan (FILE).U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne aim at the entrance to a cave outside the village of Malakay, Afghanistan (FILE).
x
U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne aim at the entrance to a cave outside the village of Malakay, Afghanistan (FILE).
U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne aim at the entrance to a cave outside the village of Malakay, Afghanistan (FILE).
VOA News
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is set to meet in Washington Thursday with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as the Obama administration deliberates the U.S. military future in Afghanistan.

Karzai is set to meet with Panetta early in the day Thursday, following a full military honors ceremony to welcome him to the Pentagon.

He is scheduled to meet with Secretary Clinton in the early evening and will then join her for a working dinner.

Karzai's talks at the Pentagon and the State Department come one day ahead of a one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders are expected to discuss security issues, namely how many U.S. troops might be stationed in Afghanistan after the majority pull out in 2014, and under what conditions.

Current plans call for the United States to withdraw nearly all of its 68,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

But that plan hinges on a number of conditions, including whether Afghan forces will be capable of taking over security at that time. It is also not clear what would be the role of the Americans who stay behind, if any do remain.

Some analysts believe the Taliban may be plotting a comeback and is just waiting for U.S. and other Western forces to leave.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Lynch, one of the authors of a new book about Afghanistan and its future called Talibanistan, says plans for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan may be premature.

"I personally believe that the dynamics in Afghanistan and the dynamics in the region right now are not well-suited for a precipitous or complete withdrawal of American or Western forces," said Lynch. "I think the Afghan national army and its security forces still need a lot of assistance - logistical training and some operational. I think there still needs to be partnership with Afghan counterterrorist units and American and Western counterterrorist units."

Another contributor to Talibanistan, Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism expert with the New America foundation, sees a gloomy and dangerous future for the Afghans if the United States leaves.

"I am quite pessimistic about the Afghan government. And I don't think what we will see is the Taliban rushing with armored columns back into Kabul. But I do think that civil war in Afghanistan is a real possibility in the years after an American withdrawal, particularly if the money stops flowing the way that it did after the Soviets left," said Fishman.

While President Karzai has often criticized U.S. actions in Afghanistan, he also has spoken about his desire for some U.S. presence to remain.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid