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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid