News / Asia

Regional Security at Stake in Delayed US-Afghan Accord

Regional Security at Stake in Delayed US-Afghan Accordi
X
December 05, 2013 11:15 PM
The proposed bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan will determine the scope and size of the U.S. military presence there after 2014. It's a significant issue between Washington and Kabul, but also is important for regional security. VOA’s Kokab Farshori explains what the U.S. troop presence, or lack of it, would mean for the region, especially for neighboring Pakistan.

Regional Security at Stake in Delayed US-Afghan Accord

Kokab Farshori
The proposed bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan will determine the scope and size of the U.S. military presence there after 2014. It's a significant issue between Washington and Kabul, but also is important for regional security. The U.S. troop presence, or lack of it, would have significant ramifications for the region, especially for neighboring Pakistan.

Thousands have died in violence that has gripped Pakistan since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, a response to the September 11 attacks.

Pakistan has been a frontline ally, although a sometimes difficult one, in the war on terror.

The country's Islamist parties say the violence in Pakistan is the direct outcome of the country's cooperation with a government whose troops are in an Islamic neighbor. They say no U.S. troops should stay in Afghanistan after 2014.  

Scott Smith of the U.S. Institute of Peace says that would not be in Pakistan's interest. "The purpose of the bilateral security agreement is basically to train the Afghan forces so that they can help maintain a stable Afghanistan.  So, if that goes according to plan, and if their presence allows for the financing of the Afghan army, which right now the Afghan state can’t pay for, then we should have a more stable Afghanistan that should be in Pakistan’s interest as well."
 
During a recent visit to Kabul, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to dispel the notion that Pakistan is trying to influence Afghanistan’s decisions.

But Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan will be independent of the U.S. presence there, said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Pakistan is not going to stop interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs. It has a border problem, it has an ethnic problem and it has a problem in competing with India. They see us as temporary, and probably correctly."  

Pakistan's government says it does not interfere in Afghanistan's affairs.

Analysts say the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden and drone strikes targeting suspected militants elsewhere in Pakistan are the major reasons the U.S. and Pakistan are at odds.  

To protest the drone strikes, an opposition party is blocking one of NATO's supply routes into Afghanistan.  

Relations are improving, however, and an agreement on the supply routes is in place, said Special U.S. Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins. "We have an agreement that covers the lines of communications to Afghanistan and that agreement continues to be followed."

Experts say the uncertainty over the bilateral security agreement is detrimental not only to Afghanistan, but also for regional security.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid