That’s what U.S. President barack obama’s security adviser ben rhodes said tuesday (local time) about afghan president hamid karsai’s visit to washington. "We don’t want to leave any options."
Nato plans to end its combat mission in the hindu kush at the end of 2014, but will actually continue to assist the afghan forces with trainers and advisers after that date. A total withdrawal of the americans had a massive impact on planning. With 68,000 soldiers, the u.S. Still provides two-thirds of the soldiers in the isaf international protection force. The german army still has around 4300 soldiers in afghanistan. Experts previously assumed that at least 1,000 german soldiers would remain in the hindu kush after 2014.
Karzai will first meet with secretary of defense hillary clinton and defense secretary leon panetta in washington on thursday; on friday he will be received by obama at the white house. The focus of the conversation was allowed to be a bilateral security agreement, which is to regulate, among other things, how many bases and soldiers the us should keep until 2024. What is disputed is the future status of the international squads. So far, they have enjoyed immunity from afghan prosecution, as is customary in international deployments.
Karzai has repeatedly hinted in recent months that he would like to hold foreign soldiers accountable for crimes committed in afghanistan. For nato this is out of the question. Against this background, the idea of a total withdrawal could also be a threatening gesture by the usa to put pressure on the afghan president before the talks in washington. In iraq, the failure of negotiations on a new status of forces agreement in 2011 led to the withdrawal of U.S. Troops.
A complete withdrawal of international troops at the end of 2014 would, according to experts, call into question all the progress made so far in afghanistan. As of 2014, the afghan security forces, according to their own assessment and that of nato, will not yet be in a position to provide stability entirely without foreign assistance.
The U.S. Had already concluded a bilateral agreement with afghanistan last may that covers the decade from 2014 to 2024. In it, the country is assured of further support. A concrete strong of the US-troops was however excluded in it. Instead, it is stipulated that a security agreement will be negotiated separately because of controversial issues. Central element of this security agreement is the question of immunity.
Isaf commander john allen has developed three scenarios for the u.S. Defense department for the period after 2014, according to a new york times report, with 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000 u.S. Troops. According to the general’s assessment, the fewer troops remaining in the hindu kush, the greater the security risk. The remaining U.S. Soldiers were to be largely special forces for anti-terrorism operations. In washington, the question of future U.S. Troop strength should not be decided during karsai’s visit.