Karzai: Afghanistan Doesn’t Need US Troops

Rules Out Signing Troop Deal

In his final address to the Afghan parliament before the April 5 election, President Hamid Karzai once again ruled out signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which would keep US troops in Afghanistan “through 2024 and beyond.”

Karzai insisted the US troops should leave now because the Afghan military is fully ready to protect the country, and that they don’t need help from any international troops.

The US has repeatedly demanded that Karzai sign the BSA immediately, and has set multiple ultimatums that have already passed. Officials have said now they expect to wait for Karzai’s successor to sign it.

Though the election is April 5, between it and the run-off US officials say they don’t expect Karzai’s successor to be in a position to sign off until August or so. Despite having no idea who is going to win, officials still aren’t suggesting a serious chance of ending the occupation.

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.