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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid