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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs