Karzai Stands Firm, Won’t Sign US Troop Deal

Night Raid, Drone Issues Remain Unresolved

Despite growing pressure from political rivals and US demands that he sign the pact immediately, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reiterated that he doesn’t intend to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) until certain preconditions are met.

The BSA would be the legal cover under which the US occupation would continue beyond 2014, through 2024 and beyond. The deal was approved by Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga, but needs Karzai’s signature to go into effect.

Karzai is holding off on signing the deal, saying he prefers to leave it up to his successor, but also demanding the US free Afghan citizens from Guantanamo Bay and make concessions on night raids.

The security demands were further solidified yesterday when a US drone strike killed three in southern Afghanistan. Karzai says he will never agree to the deal if it means similar strikes can happen in the future.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.