Sunday, January 26, 2014

Played by Karzai - and the BSA

It appears that several deadlines have expired (three as I count them) for the Afghans to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).  At first it was early fall 2013, then just after the Loya Jirga held in November 2013, then December 31st, and now the deadline is . . . well . . . after the April elections when there is a new president. Should the elections take place, and there is no presidential run-off, and the new president thinks the BSA is a good idea then we will have an agreement for U.S. troops (about 10,000 thousand) to stay in Afghanistan beyond December 2014. To the outside observer it would seem that ISAF and the Department of State have been schooled by Karzai. We want the agreement more than he does. However, it appears that it is not absolutely essential that an agreement be in place before April. And somehow Karzai had that all figured out while we didn't. Read more here - "In lieu of Afghan security pact, NATO must remain flexible, defense chiefs say", Stars and Stripes, January 23, 2014.

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