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21 November 2013

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Harper

Karzai being his cagey self, has thrown another "killing with kindness" monkey wrench into the process. While endorsing the deal, denouncing the US behavior and calling for the loya jurga to endorse the BSA, he also announced that he would not sign the accord until AFTER the next presidential elections. Implication is that he does not want to affix his signature on the agreement, preferring to retire in safety to his palace in the UAE. This is a death blow, in reality, to the deal. The Obama Administration should take advantage of this latest rub, and just get out. If competent diplomacy were in play, we'd encourage the neighbors--Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, the "stans" to come up with a regional security/economic plan to facilitate the transition. But with Obama in a presidential meltdown, that is highly unlikely.

JohnH

Does anyone know how the number of mercenaries will be affected? Earlier reports said that the US military draw down would not affect contractors, whose numbers might even increase. Last I saw, there were are many mercenaries on the ground as US military boots. If they stay, this would cost a lot of money.

turcopolier

JohnH

"Mercenaries?" you mean logistical contractors and security guards? You think they are mercenaries? pl

turcopolier

Harper

It appears that having thought things over, Karzai prefers that his successor be assassinated and not he. This should kill the "deal." pl

Matthew

Col: If we get an Iran deal, why do we need a presence in Afghanistan? Time for a real strategic pivot.

JohnH

If they're just logistical contractors and security guards, why does the military need lots of them after they've left? My understanding is that they take part in fighting, too.

turcopolier

JohnH

Your "understanding?" Based on what? Why? The lovely Obama plan is that the US (not "the military's" plan) will continue to supply and train the Afghan whatsis, after US military withdrawal. That will require guards and logistics contractors to execute. I can see that you want to believe in a phantom army of mercenaries. Pathetic. pl

elkern

That picture is stunning!

What's the deal with cloaked, seated figure? Is that a woman in full burka, sitting by the side of the road? Begging? Waiting?


But to the point of the post - I'd be glad to see the Senate stick it's collective nose into this. What possible national strategic purpose could be served by us staying in Afghanistan?!?

I suspect that actual process leading Obama towards staying is based on: R2P, AIPAC infleunce, inertia, and political considerations (CYA). What else is new?

jerseycityjoan

Will he be safe out of Afghanistan?

Any possibility that he'll end up knocking on our door?

I know one of his brothers (or half-brothers) wants to renounce his American citizenship so he can get involved in Afghanistan politics -- at least that is the excuse he used.

jerseycityjoan

If we allow ourselves to be caught on this one, after our miraculous escape from a Syria entanglement, I think we will really have to start to question what is wrong with us.

Continued promotion of harmful and self-defeating policies by our presidents (and at this point that starts with financial deregulation of the Clinton administration and every one after that) and acceptance by the public cannot just be blamed on the ones in office; it reflects on all of us.

Oofda

To clarify, does this new 'deal' include a SOFA? Or has a SOFA already been agreed upon? Without a SOFA, any agreement is moot.

turcopolier

JCJ

Karzai? He will never be safe anywhere. He will want to stay away from the US. pl

Ishmael Zechariah

Elkern,

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/06/daily_life_in_afghanistan.html
10th pic. down.

Ishmael Zechariah

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