Kerry, Karzai Agree on Pact to Keep US Troops in Afghanistan

Deal Won't Include an 'Apology'

According to Secretary of State John Kerry, he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have reached a final deal on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which will keep US troops in the nation beyond 2014, and reportedly beyond 2024 as well.

The deal, as reported yesterday, will allow night raids in “exceptional circumstances,” and will not include any specific final date, meaning that instead of a decade-long Status of Forces Agreement, the pact could keep the US in Afghanistan more or less forever.

The pact will be voted on tomorrow by the Afghan Loya Jirga, a collection of leaders which has the right to either approve or reject any agreement. The US Congress will not get such an opportunity.

Kerry is also insisting that, contrary to previous reports, there was no request for a US apology for civilian casualties or other wrongdoings in the occupation up until now. Afghan officials had suggested they want a written “admission of wrongdoing” but that it wouldn’t necessarily be called an apology, however, meaning Kerry’s comments don’t necessarily rule anything out.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.