Karzai Slams US Threats, Demands End to Strikes on Civilians

US Envoy Admits 'Nowhere Near' Deciding to Leave

Discussing the US ultimatum to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement by the end of the month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he will only do so if the US agrees to end all air strikes against civilian targets, as well as raids on the homes of Afghans. He also slammed the US for making threats over his lack of signature.

Recent drone strikes with considerable civilian death tolls have brought Karzai’s demands for limits on the occupation forces beyond 2014 into deeper focus, as the US continues to reiterate its demands for an immediate signature without any further limits.

US Special Envoy James Dobbins insists that the lack of Karzai’s signature is “raising anxiety,” and hurting the Afghani currency. That doesn’t seem to be true, as the Afghani is trading more or less flat since July.

Speaking of things that weren’t true, Dobbins conceded that the ultimatum, under which the US would supposedly withdraw if Karzai didn’t sign by the end of December, isn’t even being seriously considered now, and that the US is “nowhere near” any decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, with or without Karzai’s permission.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.