News / Asia

US, Afghan Tensions Rise Over Security Agreement

Afghan President Hamid Karzai leaves after the last day of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul, November 24, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai leaves after the last day of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul, November 24, 2013.
Sharon Behn
Security analysts in Kabul are warning of dire consequences in the region if Washington and Kabul cannot resolve a standoff over a key bilateral security agreement. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign the deal until next year, which Washington says could lead to a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces before the end of 2014.

In Kabul there are growing worries that President Hamid Karzai's surprise refusal to sign the security pact with the United States could have dire consequences for the country's future.

Mirwais Muqbil, from the Kabul-based political consulting group Hambastagi, says everybody is worried about Karzai's decision.

“It's a disastrous step and it will have dire consequences on the political and social situation in Afghanistan," he said.

The security agreement spells out terms under which an estimated 10,000 U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan to assist the government in its war against Taliban insurgents. It also involves billions of dollars worth of assistance to the Afghan security forces and Afghanistan's fledgling democratic institutions.

During a meeting in Kabul on Monday, Karzai told visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice he would not back down from his refusal to sign the agreement.
 
Instead, the Afghan leader laid out new demands, including further assurances that U.S. forces would not raid Afghan homes and that America express a sincere commitment to help start stalled peace talks with the Taliban. He also reiterated his demand that the United States commit to ensuring free and transparent presidential elections in Afghanistan on April 5.
 
In neighboring Pakistan, Political analyst Rasul Baksh Rais also is worried about Karzai's stance. He says Washington's so-called zero option, whereby no U.S. forces stay behind after 2014, would open the door to more violence.
 
“If this deal is not signed, then jihadi militancy in Pakistan will increase, it will be on much larger scale, larger numbers of people will be moving into Afghanistan to fight along the Taliban, and I don't think they will stay in Afghanistan forever," Rais said. "They will also be coming back and pursuing the same agenda of jihad against the Pakistani state.”

Afghan delegates listen to a speech from their committee chairman on the second day of the Loya Jirga, Kabul, Nov. 22, 2013.Afghan delegates listen to a speech from their committee chairman on the second day of the Loya Jirga, Kabul, Nov. 22, 2013.
x
Afghan delegates listen to a speech from their committee chairman on the second day of the Loya Jirga, Kabul, Nov. 22, 2013.
Afghan delegates listen to a speech from their committee chairman on the second day of the Loya Jirga, Kabul, Nov. 22, 2013.
On Sunday, the Loya Jirga, or council of tribal elders convened by Karzai endorsed the bilateral security agreement with the United States and called for the president to sign it immediately.

Once signed, the accord would take effect January 1, 2015.

All international combat forces in Afghanistan are scheduled to withdraw from the country by the end of 2014.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ABC
December 11, 2013 12:40 AM
Who US or NATO is asking pemission to stay! They did not take permission of Afgan president when they invaded. Why this drama now! If they feel their stay will be better for Afghan people then they dont need any permission or agreement. I think US and NATO is finding reason to leave Afganistan as they dont have interest and resources to spend in Afganistan. Karzai is a Puppet as he was always!

by: John from: Australia
November 27, 2013 5:30 AM
One can only hope that Karzai sticks to his guns. All the troops out of Afghanistan, and no money to Afghanistan or Pakistan, is obviously the best possible result.

by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
November 27, 2013 1:22 AM
After ten years and thousands of lost NATO lives, with absolutely minimal nation building gains, there are no real valid or justifyiable reason to continue spending valiant lives and massive resouces on a gvmt and people that do not want to become a Westernized nation. The main objective for Karzai, in my opinion, is to extract more resources from the West, and not to modernize or seculatize Afghanistan. Given the massive increase in the output of the precursors for heroin, no real change has occured; if at all the Taliban and their associates continue to expand and increase their holdings in the drug trade. Not much good has come out of the NATO strategy to look the other way on the drug trade, or on tying the hands of their military forces. Afghanistan needs to develop and support their own, by themselves - sink or swim. US(NATO) cant' do miracles against the will of the gvmt/people of Afghanistan..

by: AArky from: Ft Smith,AR
November 27, 2013 12:22 AM
The Generals and contractors who support them will kill to stay in Afghanistan. There are billions to be made from the fraud in all the contracts. $400 a gallon for gasoline to run the generators and Humvees to start. Afghanistan collects $1billion each year from taxes but yet many billions are carried out of the country every year by mostly Afghans. It's a sinkhole of corruption and the US hasn't got it right in 12 years. Bail out all the way, and let the Afghans sort it out.

by: John from: USA
November 26, 2013 3:34 PM
USA and NATO get out Afghan right now, no more help this country for nothing. Let them defense itself. Go home now, USA, EU.




In Response

by: Barekzai
November 27, 2013 5:32 AM
Let me guess...you're either a Pakistani or a Talib puppet of theirs, right? ;)

by: samuel from: florida
November 26, 2013 11:14 AM
Why continue giving these countries
Our monies when we don't have to.
Maybe we should keep our money to get rid of our deficit,and prepare ourselves for a stronger defence against those dummys.

by: Anonymous
November 26, 2013 10:51 AM
we need to fix our own problems instead of wasting us dollars on somebody else .period
In Response

by: Mr. Marc from: Washington State
November 26, 2013 8:38 PM
I agree. Stop giving our money away! It is ridiculous how much the US gives to other countries. I think for humanitarian reasons, some help is OK. But, it is not OK to just give keep giving it away.
In Response

by: John Ayoub from: WINONA
November 26, 2013 11:23 AM
Absolutely correct, the money the US spends on other countries could solve all the problems in this country including the national debt. But we all know that big business makes money from the support of military actions overseas.

by: Joe Weil from: San Diego
November 26, 2013 10:50 AM
Even this thieving thug, Karzai, is pushing Barry around. Domesticly Barry is the thug, attacking the constitution and inacting illegal laws that harm the people of the United States. However, Internationally he is viewd as a pusillaimous 12 year old punk who can be strong armed. Look at the backing down from Iran... Or the giving up on getting back the most damaging spy in U.S. history from Barry's brother from a different mother, Putin... or letting a group of terrorsts take out a U.S. Ambasador at will while being followed live in the White House situation room...just sayin'.

by: Frank from: Florida
November 26, 2013 10:29 AM
Don't wanna sign?.....Well, see ya...wouldn't wanna be ya. Fight the Taliban on your own then!
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 27, 2013 5:21 PM
All of you are so narrow minded ,,you all are just doing jobs doing persons ,,, dear you are not that good people to spend your billions of dollars on afghans .... It was your game and want to continue ,,, the money you have spent here not for the sake if afghans ,,, it's just your investment for the future ,,, in this area you have your becoming father china and Russia ,,,

Pls don't say .... Stop saying we should stop the money ,,, to whom you have given the money ,,and from us is getting the money ....
In Response

by: Omar from: Afghanistan
November 27, 2013 2:08 AM
You american people are very stupid.... in fact we don't want US in our country US is begging us to let him stay here, but US does that indirectly to show that he is not interested. If your have the zero option then what are you waiting for do it ......? no there is no zero option at all US failed in our country not just trying to find a respectful way to get out of here but slowly and slowly. Our President clearly knows that US wont withdraw now and he is trying to implement his demands on US somehow. and US will have no choice but to accept all of them.. you people will be watching US paying us billions of $ for not good and of course that is waste of money and time, but we are not blame this is what US has to to itself, this how US wanted a corrupt government in Afghanistan so he can reach to its goals, but failed. this what US support war criminals in Afghanistan and put them on power in order to keep innocent Afghan civilians weak and not being able to rise there voice, get their lands, steal and put all their rights received from NATO and the US and put all that in their own pockets. this what US has done so far in Afghanistan.
In Response

by: TIM from: CINCY
November 26, 2013 10:59 AM
He's not fight with the Taliban. He's one of them. He's not going to fight with his own Jihad brothers. Best way, bring our men & women home. Waste of time and money to support him.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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