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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora