News

    Obama, Karzai Sign US-Afghan Postwar Security Pact

    Kent Klein

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai have signed an agreement setting the course for U.S.-Afghan relations after the war’s end. 

    President Obama made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan Tuesday, arriving under the cover of darkness to sign the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

    At the presidential palace in Kabul, President Obama talked about the importance of the document, which sets out a 10-year strategic partnership after NATO forces end their combat role in 2014.

    “Together, we are now committed to replacing war with peace, and pursuing a more hopeful future as equal partners," said President Obama.

    After expressing thanks to U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base, Obama announced the agreement to the American people.



    “Today, I signed an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries," said Obama.

    The president said that at this month’s NATO summit in Chicago, the coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year.

    “International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed," he said. "But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward.”

    The agreement signals that the U.S. will continue to work with Afghanistan in the long term, according to Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at Washington’s Center for American Progress.

    “This agreement will offer that reassurance that we are not going to abandon them, that we will actually be with them, and that we will work with them," said Katulis.

    Katulis says the strategic agreement also gives the Afghan government incentive to tackle its longstanding problem with corruption.

    “For the Afghan people, I think this agreement will tangibly send this message that the United States and its NATO allies will continue to provide economic support, will help you diplomatically - if you fulfill your commitments," he said.

    The agreement was signed exactly one year after U.S. Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

    And the president reminded Americans that the original goal of the war - disrupting al-Qaida’s ability to launch terror strikes - had been met.

    “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end," said Obama.

    Obama reassured Karzai that the U.S. has accomplished its aim in Afghanistan, and will not build permanent bases there.  

    The U.S. has more than 90,000 troops in Afghanistan.  That number is expected to shrink to 65,000 by the end of this year, and to fewer than 20,000 by the end of 2014.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mike
    May 03, 2012 9:16 AM
    This is another case of a bad agreement which will result in the death of more Americans as well as billions of wasted dollars. Afghanistan is a collection of medieval tribes fighting each other (and other countries' tribes) based on historical and "cultural" reasons. We can't change that, and why would we want to? Bring all our troops home by lunch time today. Now. Don't wait.

    by: Atique
    May 02, 2012 7:47 AM
    Shame to ISI of Pakistan and Iranian government that they inter fair in our country and we are grateful of the people and the government of the USA. This agreement will help the Afghan people to be save from aggression ignorant neighbour Iran and Pakistan.

    by: Haron
    May 02, 2012 2:39 AM
    really Obama took positive step i really appreciate this positive achievement. if Obama didn't want to come in Afghanistan for strategic partenership maybe this strategic would be off because Karzai was cold & was not interest to sign we welcome all communities to invest in Afghanistan for developing of this country. hope for a successful Afghanistan in the region

    by: Faizmhamad . Faiz
    May 02, 2012 12:31 AM
    the pact between afghanistan& united state of Amirica is historical dacument which would prevent afghanistan from other intervention and going back . this partnership vould cause advence and development in defrent feid like education economic agricultur at lste stable peace in the country . i am very happy today .

    by: HR
    May 01, 2012 11:11 PM
    It is strong signal to our bloody neighbors, If thy know.

    by: heshukui
    May 01, 2012 10:20 PM
    Barack Obama President playing is a skillful strength and psychological warfare,but Romney and President George w. bush playing are hand-to-hand fighting!

    by: NVO
    May 01, 2012 6:16 PM
    Another SHAM that will ultimately FAIL.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora