January 15, 2013

Get the Deal or Get Out of Afghanistan

Dov Zakheim, The National Interest

AP Photo

President Obama is correct that American troops should not remain in Afghanistan without a status of forces agreement. He will need to be far more committed to achieving that agreement than he was when Washington sought to negotiate a SOFA with Iraq. It is said that Baghdad now regrets that it did not agree to a SOFA—the country is once again teetering on the brink of ethnic conflict—and is advising Kabul not to make the same mistake. Karzai’s mercurial nature may render it difficult to achieve a SOFA, however, unless he is pressed by Obama on a sustained basis. And it is not at all clear whether the administration really wants to keep any troops in Afghanistan at all.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Hamid Karzai, Taliban, Barack Obama, United States, Afghanistan

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

January 11, 2013
U.S. Needs to Stay in Afghanistan
Ahmad Majidyar, CNN
Leaked reports suggest the White House is considering cutting troop numbers by 20,000 to 30,000 this year and keeping as few as 2,500 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, despite requests by military commanders in the field to... more ››
January 17, 2013
U.S. Leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban
Fouad Ajami, Bloomberg
There is kitsch and legend about the country being a graveyard for empires, about the codes of the Pashtuns. But decades of mayhem and corruption have hardened and wrecked the culture. Plainly, the warrior bandits live off... more ››
January 8, 2013
The Open Question of Afghanistan
Walter Pincus, Washington Post
President Obama this week has a chance to explain to President Hamid Karzai, and hopefully to the American people, what will be our future role in Afghanistan. Most speculation has focused on how rapidly the remaining... more ››
January 10, 2013
Karzai Needs West More than He Thinks
The National
American drones are still in the skies above Afghanistan, US troops are still on the ground and Afghan prisoners still languish in US-controlled prisons. What, then, could a spokesman for Hamid Karzai, the country's ... more ››
January 9, 2013
Karzai Stealing Afghanistan's Future
Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Policy
Despite the overwhelming list of challenges, however, from corruption to an economy dependent on foreign aid, Afghanistan can still experience a successful political transition in 2014. For this to happen, all the stakeholders... more ››