U.S. pushes Afghans to sign security pact
The United States wants the Afghanistan government to sign a bilateral security agreement in matter of weeks if a contingent of U.S. troops is to remain there after 2014, the White House said on Monday.
The Afghan government had ignored U.S. demands for it to sign a framework security agreement by the end of 2013, amid protracted negotiations that have strained relations between the two countries.
U.S. officials say unless a deal is reached to keep upward of 8,000 U.S. troops inside the country after 2014, the United States might instead completely withdraw from the country.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has expressed skepticism at the U.S. threat for a complete withdrawal.
“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. or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Without a deal, the United States could pull out all troops, the so-called “zero option,” leaving Afghan forces to battle the Taliban on their own.
Carney said the longer the issue drags into 2014, “the more likely that outcome will come to pass” in which the United States would leave no troops behind for the training of Afghan forces or counter-terrorism purposes.
“Look, I don't have specific deadlines or other policy decisions to announce today. But I can tell you that we are talking about weeks, and not months. And, you know, the clock is ticking,” Carney said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down
- Ban of flights to and from Israel feared to bolster Hamas
- Islamists gain foothold in few British schools
- Putin’s stance on Ukraine is bad for business, Russian billionaires say
- 11 parents of abducted Nigerian girls die
- Heavy rains, landslides hit China, at least 45 die
- Militants capture Syrian gas field in fierce fighting
- U.S. flouts Chavez law, funds opposition in Venezuela
- U.S. drone strike kills 8 in Pakistani tribal region
- Train with Ukraine plane crash bodies leaves rebel town
- ‘Explosion of evil’ in Europe against Jews condemned