The Obama administration and NATO will not keep any troops in Afghanistan if the country's new president fails to sign Bilateral Security Agreements with the United States and NATO.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting Tuesday with President Barack Obama the agreements need to be signed by September, or keeping troops there will be a problem.
Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreements, although both Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have committed to doing so.
However, the Afghan presidential election is now complicated by allegations of widespread voter fraud, causing some to worry neither one is sworn in as president before the deadline.
The remaining international troops in Afghanistan are set to depart by year’s end, but the security deal would keep initially 10,000 troops there before the number tapers down gradually.