News / USA

US Steps Up Pressure on Karzai to Sign Security Agreement

US Steps Up Pressure on Karzai to Sign Security Agreementi
X
January 09, 2014 12:22 AM
The United States is raising the pressure on Afghanistan's leader Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would allow more than 8,000 U.S. troops to stay beyond the end of the year. As VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, the U.S. is again threatening a full withdrawal if Karzai does not sign the deal.
Luis Ramirez
The United States is raising the pressure on Afghanistan's leader Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would allow more than 8,000 U.S. troops to stay beyond the end of the year. The U.S. is again threatening a full withdrawal if Karzai does not sign the deal.

Militants capturing cities in Iraq is something U.S. officials don't want to see happen in Afghanistan.

The international troops that have helped Afghan forces fight extremists are due to withdraw in just 11 months.

This week, White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated calls for President Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement to facilitate the presence of U.S. troops past this year.

“Our position continues to be that if we cannot conclude a bilateral security agreement promptly, then we will be forced to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no U.S. nor NATO troop presence in Afghanistan," said Carney.

The U.S. says it wants a decision in the next few weeks, not months. Karzai wants to wait until after Afghanistan's April elections before making a decision.  

U.S. officials say the longer the Afghan leader waits to sign the deal, the harder it will be for them and NATO allies to commit support. NATO defense ministers will meet next month and want to start planning their post 2014 presence.

"This is not an easy or uncomplicated process," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "If you just look at our military and what we have to do in order to plan and prepare for a post-2014 mission train, assist, advise, counterterrorism, budgets, the Congress. This is complicated."

The U.S. military has tons of equipment and thousands of personnel to move in a short amount of time, but officials say they are setting no deadlines.   

Analysts say Karzai does not believe the U.S. will pull out and is playing a dangerous game that could result in Afghan forces being left to fend for themselves without U.S. forces to assist them.  

Complicating the process is a difficult personal relationship between Karzai and President Obama.  Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a new book, writes that Obama "can't stand" Karzai.

"If we have to wait a few months, we can wait a few months," said Michael O'Hanlon, who is with the Brookings Institution. "But that makes life a lot harder, and it's possible that the Obama administration is so fed up with Karzai that it's willing to actually create a deadline and mean it. That's the danger here."

That possibility appears to be growing, says Jason Campbell of the Rand Corporation.

“Right now given the last few weeks where President Karzai has increasingly shown unwillingness to sign the BSA, that is starting to, I think, creep in to the planners, get on their radars, so to speak, and they're going to have to consider it," he said.

For now, U.S. troops are working with the uncertainty of not knowing if they will stay or will go.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny Enwerem from: Abeokuta Nigeria
January 09, 2014 11:58 AM
Karzai know once he signs the BSA the ability to call short before during and after fades so he waits as his only bargaining chip at the US and NATO forces.........President Karzai has always looked, smiled and smelled like the problem of Afghanistan in his personal quest to will power,the only cool thing about karzai is his white bead because I also have white bead,happy new year joke.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid