After giving him the silent treatment for eight months, President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The message? A blunt warning that all U.S. troops will leave his war-torn country by 2015 unless Karzai or his successor sign a bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States.
The president had not spoken to Karzai since a June 25, 2013, video conference, and the two had had no contact since a Nov. 21, 2013, letter from Washington to Kabul.
Obama has said repeatedly that he hopes to leave a residual force of some 8,000-12,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to train local security forces and target extremists after most combat forces depart in 2014. But U.S. officials had warned that Obama would pull all American troops absent a BSA that gives American and allied forces immunity from local prosecution.
Karzai refused, saying his successor should be the one to make that commitment. He continued to say no even after Afghanistan’s “loya jirga”Read More »from Obama makes it official: U.S. planning for full Afghan withdrawal