News / Asia

US Intel Chief: Karzai Unlikely to Sign US-Afghan Pact

FILE - U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper appears before lawmakers on Capitoll Hill in Washington Feb. 4, 2014.
FILE - U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper appears before lawmakers on Capitoll Hill in Washington Feb. 4, 2014.
Michael Bowman
America's top intelligence official says Afghan President Hamid Karzai is unlikely to sign a security agreement with the United States, leaving the long-term relationship between the two countries undefined as U.S. combat troops withdraw.
 
For months, the United States has urged Karzai to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) he negotiated with the Obama administration. But Karzai has refused.  U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper told senators the deal may not be finalized on President Karzai's watch.
 
"It takes two [people] to sign this.  And my own view, not necessarily company [official U.S.] policy, is I do not believe President Karzai is going to sign it," said Clapper.
 
The Bilateral Security Agreement would keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a supportive role for a decade. Karzai has objected to U.S. military tactics in his country, especially raids of Afghan homes, and said he wants assurances of a dialogue with Taliban militants.
 
The Obama administration has threatened to terminate America's military role entirely if the accord is not signed.
 
U.S. domestic support for military operations in Afghanistan is at an all-time low, and President Karzai's actions are making a bad situation worse, according to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Democrat Carl Levin.
 
"President Karzai has so far refused to sign the BSA that he himself agreed to, and has made a series of statements so inflammatory that they are undermining public support in the United States for continuing efforts in Afghanistan," said Levin.
 
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham put it more bluntly.
 
"President Karzai, in my view, is single-handedly destroying this relationship.  And I want the people of Afghanistan to know that I yearn for a supportive relationship - politically, economically and militarily," said Graham.
 
Meanwhile, the Department of Defense is reacting to reports Afghanistan will release dozens of insurgent detainees later this week.  A Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, described the militants as a threat to U.S. forces.
 
"Of course, we would try to kill or capture them as the battlefield situation presents," said Warren.
 
Warren added U.S. military options become more constrained the longer the BSA goes unsigned, while the Taliban is emboldened.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid