News / USA

Obama Warns Karzai on Post-2014 Troop Presence

FILE - A U.S. soldier is seen at the site of a suicide bombing at a police compound in the Surobi district of Kabul, Feb. 21, 2014.
FILE - A U.S. soldier is seen at the site of a suicide bombing at a police compound in the Surobi district of Kabul, Feb. 21, 2014.
VOA NewsDan Robinson
President Obama called Afghan President Karzai on Tuesday to reiterate that there will be no U.S. troop presence on the ground in Afghanistan unless the Afghan government signs a bilateral security agreement.

Before they spoke on the phone Tuesday, Obama and Karzai were not known to have spoken for months.

The Afghan leader has refused to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement that the United States and NATO insist is necessary to plan for a post-2014 troop presence to support counter-terrorism and training of Afghan forces.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed growing concerns on Tuesday.

"The longer we go without a BSA, and we have been making this clear, the more challenging it will be to plan and to execute any U.S. mission," said Carney, adding  "Furthermore, the longer we go without a signed BSA, the more likely it will be that any post-2014 mission will be smaller in scale and ambition."

Asked later whether he could state that without signing of the agreement there will be no troops on the ground in Afghanistan beyond December 31, Carney said "absolutely."

Obama has directed the Pentagon to proceed with contingency planning to ensure, as a Defense Department statement said, that plans are in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called this a prudent step, given that Karzai has demonstrated it is unlikely he will sign the security accord, which would provide U.S. military personnel with what officials call "critical protections and authorities after 2014."

Hagel said the U.S. military will be moving people and equipment out of the Afghan war theater, but its force posture will provide "various options for U.S. and NATO political leaders."

Planning will continue, he added, for U.S. participation in a NATO-led mission focused on training, advising and assisting Afghan security forces, and a narrowly focused counterterrorism mission.

Hagel attends a meeting in Brussels this week of NATO and defense ministers of the International Security Force in Afghanistan.

In his call with Karzai, Obama made clear, according to Carney, that the U.S. is open to the signing of a security agreement later in the year.

Carney also was asked if the White House has reason to believe that any of the presidential candidates in Afghanistan would sign the accord.

" I don't think we would, given the experience we've had, predict with any great certainty what might happen. I would note that those who cover these issues have reported that candidates have suggested they support it.  But we will obviously wait to see what happens," he said.

Carney emphasized again that the U.S.-NATO policy goal has always depended on signing the accord, and the longer it takes the more likely a "zero option" becomes and the smaller any mission would be beyond 2014.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Merlinsscience from: America
February 25, 2014 7:03 PM
This is a case of Karzai continuing to act the fool on the world stage whilst our administration continues to place the "bar" just out of reach because they actually do want to withdraw. It's hilarious... It's like watching two guys act like they want to fight while gesturing to the friends to "hold me back". Both intend to walk away the winner, Afghanistan will suffer and the US will sit back and watch as the country dissolves into chaos again (like Iraq). This will make two-in-a-row for "no BSA" for this awesome administration.

In Response

by: Gmc from: New York
February 27, 2014 6:09 AM
These were two wars that never should have happened and this administration was handed this mess by the previous awesome administration.


by: britt walden from: nc
February 25, 2014 7:02 PM
GOOD! WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. LOST THE LIVES OF OUR YOUNG MEN, CAUSED HATE TO FLOURISH, AND IN THE DAMN HOLE FOR TRILLIONS. THIS WHILE THE BANKS ARE/HAVE BEEN BAILED OUT AND THE CITIZENS WHO NEED HELP IN MANY WAYS BEING CALLED "LAZY". TIME TO TAKE CARE OF THIS COUNTRY. TERM LIMITS AND RECALL FOR ALL ELECTED CITIZENS.


by: Rick from: WV
February 25, 2014 6:53 PM
American people to obama...NO troops in Afghanistan period.


by: Affe from: Ghani
February 25, 2014 6:35 PM
US/NATO security personnel in addition to the private contractors should not have immunity if they commit war crimes against civilians which is probably the focal point why the agreement is not being signed. I mean why else would someone refuse an umbrella of security if it did not come with heinous crimes as the world has witnessed being committed by NATO troops adn their allies against innocent men, women and children. And to make matters worse, the perps are still on the loose. Countries cannot be made secure and independent if war crimes are perpetuated by those in charge.


by: nick from: cali
February 25, 2014 6:25 PM
some people's are meant to disappear from the earth. we've seen it many times throughout human history. if they can't evolve from their primitive mindsets, then they should not be stopped from their own destruction at their own hands.


by: James Malenfant from: Phoenix, Arizona
February 25, 2014 6:24 PM
If Karazi doesn't want us there, fine. We can leave and take every scrap of U.S. property with us. His life expectancy is 15 minutes after we pull out. Have a great day!


by: Anonymous
February 25, 2014 6:17 PM
Karzai is a thief that's playing both sides of the fence in an effort to further enrich himself. Why do we support these bastards for so long if we know who they are?


by: johnnymar from: 32218
February 25, 2014 4:37 PM
FINALLY! He's doing what he promised all the way back in 2008 ("You can take that to the bank....). Apparently, the bank went bankrupt. It's among the many promises Obama Bin Lyin' has broken.


by: JKF2 from: GREAT NORTH (Canada)
February 25, 2014 2:14 PM
Terminating the mission in Afghanistan, for the US/NATO, is a very courageous, wise and best possible outcome for the West. There can be no question, in my opinion, that US/NATO sacrifices went well out of the norm to try and establish the basis of a stable and democratic gvmt in Afghanistan. It is unfortunate, that the Karzai gvmt and other elements in Afghanistan, failed to take advantage and support the Western efforts, to greatly improve the conditions of life for the average Afghan citizen.

The upper elites of Afghanistan, especially those associated with their gvmt, appear to have done quite well for themselves; reports in the media of villas, bank accounts and great luxuries, both inside and outside of Afghanistan, would appear to indicate that those that did well, and did so at the expense of the average Afghan. Further privations and risk taking by NATO forces and Western civilians, makes no real sense.

Tribalism has not diminished, if any thing it is rising. Trying to build a democratic, safe, secure and prosperous nation, can only be done if that is what the majority of the people want; it takes sacrifices to do so, the most clear indicator that the people do not want to progress is the fact that drug production, heroin, is at is highest ever, rather than feed food to the people, the intent is to feed drugs to the world. In my view no good can come of it.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
February 25, 2014 11:27 PM
TRUTH BE TOLD...... Not one US military man or woman died or was wounded for Karzai or the Afghan people or country..
The US invaded Afghanistan to avenge the 09-11-2001 Al-Qaeda attack on the US .. AND .. to defeat the Taliban government, who supported and provided training bases to the Bin laden Al-Qaeda terrorists...
The US didn't invade Afghanistan to bring freedom or Democracy to the Afghan people, or their country, they did it to avenge 09-11-2001..
The US wants to leave about 15,000 troops to operate the (CIA) controlled killer drones and Navy Seals in Afghanistan, to kill the (suspected) enemies like Al-Qaeda, that would attack America.. and not to DEFEND the Afghans...
Karzai knows what the US wants, and it's not for protecting Afghans.. Plus the US promised old refurbished attack helicopters and old antiquated refurbished war planes that have never been delivered, and armored vehicles and artillery that US troops are destroying before the leave..
WITH what is the US training the Afghan army with....... REALLY

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
February 25, 2014 10:20 PM
The people of Afghanistan are in stone age mentality. united state has tried for years to develop that country and it was a waste. we spend trillion dollar and over one thousand lives and no dramatic change on that country. it is history . what ever happen in that country it is not our business

In Response

by: Climp Jones
February 25, 2014 7:20 PM
shouldn't you be busy grooming Mayor Ford's torso and back hair then oiling him down with walrus fat?

In Response

by: Mike Duffy
February 25, 2014 7:13 PM
Great comment, JKF2. The Afgan people are 200 years from civilization.

In Response

by: Ridha Fellah from: usa
February 25, 2014 7:02 PM
JKF2 Great analysis. Totally agree with you.We gotta get out of this mess. Let them kill themselves

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid