Afghans Still Holding Out On Long-Term Basing Deal With US

Just as they did in Iraq, Obama administration officials are pleading with the Afghan government to sign a long-term agreement that will allow the US to keep troops and bases in the country after the agreed “withdrawal” date. And just as in Iraq, it’s beginning to look like there will be no such agreement despite dire warnings of what will happen after the US and its allies leave.

Washington and its allies want to have the US-Afghan strategic partnership agreed before May, when a Nato conference in Chicago is expected to pledge long-term help to Kabul with finances and military training.

But negotiations have dragged on for over a year and Karzai is adamant he will not give ground on his two main demands ”“ for Afghan control of jails and an end to night-time raids on Afghan homes.

Western officials say the first is not practical and the second would compromise the military effort.

“If they don’t change their position there will be no strategic partnership before Chicago,” said a senior Afghan official familiar with the negotiations. “We are not willing to compromise when it comes to sovereignty.”

The obvious moral of this story is that usually people find too late that they would rather go to Hell in a handbasket of their own devising than one provided by foreign firepower. Libyans may yet find they regret their aftermath more than their pre-war situation. Syrians and Iranians too, if the West’s meddlers and warhawks get their way.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • …and they’re not too keen on what they get out of the “pure CT” option?

    I believe the term is whocoddanode?!!

    In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

  • You have to acknowledge that they’re not exactly overjoyed by what they’ve got out of the “full-on COIN” options, both population and enemy-centric, either.

  • …(really something more like FID) that actually focussed on the right things – particularly the right chunk of the country – they’d at least get something out of it. Can’t really say that about the pure CT option.

    In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

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