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 Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
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.

VOA Blogs