NATO Begins Negotiations With Afghanistan For Post-2014 Security Agreement
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NATO Begins Negotiations With Afghanistan For Post-2014 Security Agreement


Against the backdrop of the stalled Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began negotiations with the government of Afghanistan for a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would provide a legal basis for international troops’ continued presence in Afghanistan beyond next year.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement that the SOFA agreement would see a NATO mission “train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces after 2014, as agreed with the Afghan government at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.” According to Rasmussen, negotiations are taking place between NATO senior civilian representative Maurits Jochems and Afghan national security adviser Rangin Spanta.

NATO made clear that the SOFA could only be concluded contingent on the signing of the BSA with the United States – something Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been reluctant to do for a variety of reasons, ranging from careful politicking to nationalism. According to Bloomberg, ”U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was ‘pleased’ to learn of the discussions while the Pentagon pressed for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign the bilateral agreement.”

NATO’s insistence that the Kabul government conclude the BSA with the United States adds another powerful voice to a growing regional chorus interested in seeing the U.S. presence in Afghanistan endure beyond 2014, ostensibly in the interest of maintaining security. India, Pakistan and China have all supported the BSA as well.

Should the BSA be signed – something U.S. officials expect to happen before the new year – the SOFA agreement with NATO should follow soon thereafter. Karzai initially supported the notion of a BSA with the United States but grew intransigent and refused to sign it after being presented with a draft and receiving the support of the Afghan Loya Jirga. Karzai claims that the BSA should be concluded by his successor, the winner of Afghanistan’s national election for president next April.

Should the BSA not be signed, Afghanistan faces the prospect of instability given the state of preparation of the Afghan National Army and national police forces. The U.S. remains hesitant to exercise a “zero option” – a scenario where no U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, for operational or training purposes – precisely because the Taliban and its affiliates across Afghanistan and in the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands would seize the moment to launch a destabilizing campaign against Kabul before the general elections. The timing of the security agreements, a few months before the elections, lends a sense of fragility to the contemporary situation in Afghanistan.

Peter Dow
December 28, 2013 at 02:45

Don’t pay Karzai or whoever is the next Afghan President anything, never mind billions of dollars in military aid, for his (or her if the next Afghan president is a woman) agreement on security.

Don’t sign anything which commits us to any peace talks with the Taliban.

If we need an Afghan force to secure our supply lines as we drawdown then re-organise the Afghan forces into 2 parts.
1) An Afghan national army commanded by the Afghan president which Afghans pay for out of their taxes. We pay nothing for this.
2) An auxiliary Afghan force run as part of NATO-ISAF, commanded by our generals, which gets our billions of dollars in military aid spent on it.

Quit trying to buy Afghan politicians’ friendship with money. It’s corrupting.

If that means that no agreement with any Afghan president can be reached, so be it. We revert to being an army of occupation with the authority of NATO.

No aid whatsoever should go through Afghan government coffers. This should apply to economic, humanitarian and military aid.

So for example, instead of funding the Afghan National Army controlled politically by Karzai and the warlords, the West should fund a NATO auxiliary force of Afghans, commanded by NATO-ISAF generals and under our political control.

All there is right now is a badly run Afghan state dominated by President Karzai and the warlords.

By funding Karzai and the warlords, NATO and the US have made it very difficult for the honest politicians of Afghanistan who answer to the Afghan people, not to the warlords, to replace Karzai and the warlords as the established Afghan state, to give NATO and the US a well-run Afghan state partner with which we can work to rid Afghanistan of the warlords.

So really that’s why I say NATO and the US should not fund the ANA and the rest of the Afghan state. The Afghan state should only be funded by Afghans to make sure as we can that the Afghan state is accountable to Afghans and doing what they want so that the Afghan state asks NATO and the US for the help that Afghans really want, not what Karzai and the warlords want.

Once the West finds the wisdom to finally quit funding Karzai or his replacement Afghan president you can be very sure he’ll be straight on the telephone to seek funding for his corrupt state from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran etc.

So any future requests from an Afghan president must be seen in that light of who do we suspect is paying Karzai to make that request and if its not a genuine request of the Afghan people then it ought to be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Pentagon and NATO strategic incompetence has allowed a Pakistani stranglehold on NATO-ISAF ground supply routes while the same Pakistani military given $10 billion since 2001 is actually SUPPORTING, RECRUITING, TRAINING, SUPPLYING AND DIRECTING THE TALIBAN against our forces.

Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism and the Taliban against us yet our military chiefs and our defence secretaries seem in denial about this.

So the Pakistan military is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers yet gets billions of US dollars. Other NATO countries also pay Pakistan instead of making Pakistan pay for its acts of war against us. Where’s the sense in that?

Watch the “SECRET PAKISTAN” videos.

And check out these AfPak Mission links

AfPak Mission channel

AfPak Mission twitter

AfPak Mission forum

AfPak Mission flickr

AfPak Mission blog

January 2, 2014 at 23:57

@ Peter,
It says only one thing … the covert policies (which is not a secret any more) of the US State Dept. and the CIA towards Af-Pak region, is evil to say the least … Pakistan is a proxy of the US that will do their bidding in exchange of dollars … keeping the whole region on fire, in order to thwart economic integration of the region to China, India, Iran and Russia is the America strategic objective … all the US want is a controlled boil of the region, so as not to destabilize Pakistan, the useful pawn ….

December 26, 2013 at 02:11

“U.S. officials expect The BSA Treaty to be signed before the new year.”
Gentlemen Wake up and smell the coffee.
Karzai thinks he is going to force both NATO and The United States to Kow-Tow to him and he will gain prestige by making this happen.
Problems follow:
Both The United States and NATO are stretched to the breaking point.
Financially, Troop strength, Morale, ect. Plus public opinion is down on staying in Afghanistan,
Both in the U.S. and Europe.
The United States is having a Mid-Term Election, so any candidate who supports staying in Afghanistan, is not going to be in office afterwards.
With 6 Days till the cutoff date that will start both NATO and The United States exiting Afghanistan.
Karzai doesn’t realize he has played into Al-Quida and the Taliban’s hands.

December 27, 2013 at 14:07

The US strategic objective, post 2014 withdrawal, is to protect Pakistan’s interests … Afghanistan’s well being is not on American agenda … Karzai knows this … the Afghans are not idiots, as you Americans might think …

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