In an historic decision, Afghanistan’s assembly of tribal and community elders, the Loya Jirga, overall approved a multi-page Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States. But it is still unclear when the deal will be signed.
Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” that would leave no American troops there after next year, according to American and European officials.
The war in Afghanistan was largely ignored in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election. But with a second term now confirmed for President Barack Obama, Kabul is once again vying for Washington’s attention.
President Obama outlined his plan to end America’s longest foreign war during a visit here Tuesday colored by election-year politics and economic uncertainty, declaring that “this time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.”
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on 12 April expressed the Alliance’s continued strong commitment to Afghanistan after talks with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.
The protests in Afghanistan over the burning of copies of the Quran confiscated from detainees at Bagram Airfield have led to more than two dozen deaths, and have severely — perhaps even permanently — undermined the United States’ determined efforts to win hearts and minds in the country. The killing of NATO troops by members of Afghanistan’s security forces, or militants in their uniforms, is a dangerous new trend, and one that severely complicates relations between international security forces and their local hosts. It may now be time to consider new strategies by which to achieve U.S. and Western goals in Afghanistan.
The possibility of the United States retaining long-term bases in Afghanistan could only be addressed once peace has been achieved and must take into account the country's neighbors, the Afghan president said on Saturday.
Many people wouldn't know that former United States president Ronald Reagan's signature phrase "trust, but verify" is actually the translation of a Russian proverb - doveryai, no proveryai. Two decades into the post-Cold War era, Moscow wants to reclaim the self-contradictory phrase from the American repertoire and apply it to Russia's "reset" of ties with the United States.
Presidents have often turned to foreign policy after domestic setbacks - from Ronald Reagan's Latin American tour and speech calling the Soviet Union the "focus of evil in the modern world" in the months after his party's 1982 congressional losses to Bill Clinton's escape to Indonesia and the Philippines following his own midterm trouncing a dozen years later. Both found redemption at the polls.
In the Orient, offspring don't rebuke parents, even if the latter are at fault - especially in the post-Soviet space where Marxian formalism continues to prevail as political culture. The sort of stern public rebuke bordering on short shrift that Ashgabat administered to Moscow is extraordinary.