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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs