Saturday, February 8, 2014

Drones, Resolute Support, and Bilateral Security Agreement

All eyes are currently focused on the upcoming Afghan elections scheduled for April and the non-signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement by Karzai. The Bilateral Security Agreement will provide the legal basis for a continued troop presence in Afghanistan beyond December 2014 - which will be called Resolute Support. It is anticipated that the troop level will be 10,000 U.S. and 6,000 NATO. The Resolute Support mission will be two-fold. Counter-terrorism against remnants of al Qaeda and other high value targets and conducting an advise and assist mission  - now called functionally-based Security Force Assistance. An important part of the counter-terrorist mission is providing for a secure base from which to operate and support the use of drones (by both the military and the CIA). Read more on the importance of the ability to stage drones in Afghanistan post-2104 in "How Much is a Drone Base Worth?", The National Interest, January 27, 2014.

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