December 3, 2013 |
He's done it again. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has startled and dismayed the world. After an arduous diplomatic process to define the terms of a future international presence in Afghanistan, he balked at the last second, like a white-eyed horse in front of a jump. Karzai was on board when the language of the Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement with U.S. negotiators was finalized on Nov. 19. Less than a week later, a gathering of Afghan elders, officials and community leaders (known as a loya jirga )
November 29, 2013 |
After more than a decade of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan - and almost 2,300 American deaths - many Americans would be content if this country reduced its troop presence there from the current 47,000 to zero by the end of next year. That's the point at which Afghan forces are supposed to take responsibility for internal security. But the Obama administration makes a persuasive case that some residual force is necessary to ensure that country's stability. After months of painstaking negotiations, U.S. and Afghan officials recently reached a bilateral security agreement designed, in President Obama's words, "to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force, which ensures that Al Qaeda can never again establish a safe haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.
November 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials seeking to close a deal by year's end on the future of American troops in Afghanistan are exploring ways to bypass the country's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, who negotiated the agreement but now refuses to sign it. Frustrated by Karzai's abrupt declaration that he won't ink the deal before Afghan elections in April, the Obama administration has begun pushing for Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani or another top...
November 25, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - From presidential candidates to grocers and spice merchants, many Afghans threw up their hands in frustration and exasperation with their elected president on Monday. They had watched Hamid Karzai on TV the day before, and many were baffled by what they saw. Karzai had brusquely rejected the recommendations of a special grand council he had personally convened to vote on whether Afghanistan should sign a security agreement with the United States. After the council, or loya jirga , enthusiastically endorsed the pact, Karzai refused to sign and launched an angry diatribe against the United States.
November 24, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a face-to-face rebuke to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a grand council of Afghan dignitaries voted Sunday to recommend approval of a proposed 10-year security accord with the United States by the end of the year, agreeing to an American-imposed deadline. The white-bearded chairman of the advisory council, or loya jirga , told Karzai that he miscalculated by threatening a signing delay until spring. Chairman Sibghatullah Mojaddedi lectured Karzai, warning that if he delays signing, "I'll resign and leave the country.
November 21, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - He expressed outrage, sarcasm and black humor. He cast himself as a lonely voice defending his country's pride and sovereignty against American arrogance. After a frantic week of last-minute negotiations, Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivered a tepid endorsement Thursday of a proposed 10-year security pact with the United States in a rambling speech to an Afghan tribal gathering. But he then surprised attendees - and the world - by saying Afghanistan might not sign the accord until next spring.