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Entries in Strategic Partnership Agreement (4)

Wednesday
May092012

Iran Demands Afghanistan Break Post-War Pact with US

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran wants Afghanistan to break its Strategic Partnership Agreement with the U.S.

The pact signed last week in Kabul by President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai outlines the American role in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of nearly all coalition forces in 2014.

Tehran's ambassador to Kabul, Abolfazl Zohrehvand, told Afghan lawmakers that any U.S. soldiers left in their country would only serve to destabilize the region.  It's believed Iran's real motivation is to gain more influence with the Afghan government that is not tethered to Washington.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government's demand that Afghanistan not ratify the SPA is also accompanied by a threat to deport hundreds of thousands of Afghans who work in Iran in construction and agricultural jobs.

However, it appears that Iran's attempted intervention into Afghan affairs is falling on deaf ears.

Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, the speaker of Afghanistan's upper house of parliament, said that he told the Iranian ambassador that his government was free to negotiate with whatever country it chooses, a sentiment echoed by other lawmakers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May042012

Karzai Boasts About Postwar Pact with United States

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he got most of what he wanted from the U.S. as a condition of signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement that defines America's role in Afghanistan from 2014 and over the next ten years.

President Obama made a secret trip to Kabul on Tuesday to ink the pact that gives the U.S. a limited military role once most troops are withdrawn in two years and guarantees an annual stipend to the Afghan government to maintain its operation.

In remarks made from the presidential palace Thursday, Karzai boasted about laying out tough preconditions, which include Afghans taking control of detention centers controlled by U.S. forces and national forces leading raids on enemy targets, with American soldiers primarily in back-up positions.

As for what happens once all security responsibilities are handed off to his soldiers and police, Karzai said the U.S. also agreed not to launch any strikes against other countries from bases that remain after the major troop drawdown.

Karzai also claimed that he would not sign the SPA in Chicago at a NATO summit this month as originally planned, saying it was essential for the pact to be formally agreed to on Afghan soil.

Reaching out to all Afghans, Karzai concluded, "Afghanistan is now a dignified country. I call on you to come to Afghanistan, join the peace process and strengthen the nation of Afghanistan."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

Corrupt Government Could Jeopardize US Postwar Pact with Afghanistan

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- International experts believe the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed Tuesday by President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not be worth the paper it's written on unless Afghanistan gets it political house in order over the next few years.

The pact outlines the U.S. military role in Afghanistan following the scheduled withdrawal of most American troops in 2014 that also provides an annual stipend to the country that has yet to be determined.

However, Afghanistan still has one of the most corrupt governments in the world and there are fears that the effects of the SPA could be severely compromised if Afghan leaders continue to fall under the sway of both crooks and insurgents.

Former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. Tayeb Jawad notes, "The transition of the security responsibilities to the Afghan security forces, the transition of the Afghan economy gradually from a contract economy into a private-led economy is taking place in a much better organized and robust way than the political transition."

Professor Larry Goodson of the U.S. Army War College concurs that the Western-style government and elections haven't been nearly as successful as "the focus on the military and the security sector."

There's another important variable that could wreak havoc on the SPA: Hamid Karzai's term ends in 2014 and by law, he can't run again. That means the U.S. will be dealing with a big unknown, perhaps a president who is more sympathetic to the Taliban than the current leader.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Obama, Karzai Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- In the atrium of the King’s Residence in the Afghan Presidential Palace, Presidents Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement that charts a course for the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship beyond 2014, when the final American combat troops will withdraw.

After Karzai thanked the American people for helping the people of his country, President Obama said he had “come to Afghanistan to mark this historic moment for our two nations.”

“Neither Afghans nor Americans asked for this war,” President Obama said, noting that “for a decade we have stood together. We look forward to a future of peace.”

“We have made progress,” he continued, “now we will be long-term partners in combating terrorism and training Afghan Security partners.”

The arrangement, inked ahead of a NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago later this month, is designed to send a strong message to the region that the U.S. is not abandoning the country even as it sharply reduces its footprint there.

President Obama cautioned that “there will be difficult days ahead.”

As the Afghan people take control of their own future, he continued, “I am confident the Afghan people will understand that the U.S. will stand by them. We will achieve our goal of destroying al Qaeda...and we have the capacity to wind down this war and have peace.”

As the Afghan military takes the lead in domestic security operations, U.S. intelligence resources, military aircraft and counterterrorism tools will continue to provide support, officials said.

The arrangement is a nod to lessons learned from 1989 when the U.S. last withdrew from Afghanistan, leading to civil war, the rise of the Taliban and creation of a safe haven from which Osama bin Laden could launch his attacks.

Obama will address the nation live from Bagram Air Base Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET to explain how and why the agreement will ensure U.S. military and financial support for Afghanistan for years to come, officials said.

Obama is expected to reference bin Laden and the successful Navy SEALs raid that killed him in his televised address, officials said. He will also meet with U.S. troops stationed at Bagram.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio