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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs