With Afghan president's visit, nations' post-2014 future takes shape
January 8th, 2013
12:00 AM ET

With Afghan president's visit, nations' post-2014 future takes shape

By Mike Mount

The Obama administration's plan to solidify the number of U.S. troops that will be left in Afghanistan after the NATO-led operations end in 2014 should come into greater focus this week as Afghan President Hamid Karzai visits Washington.

With conversations scheduled at the State Department on Wednesday, the Pentagon on Thursday and the White House on Friday, Karzai should get a better sense of how the United States plans to maintain the relationship with his nation in the future.

At the Pentagon, Karzai will be briefed on the plans to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to fight insurgents and to continue to train Afghan Security Forces.

But that plan hinges on what Karzai may want from the United States, according to Defense officials. It's no secret that Karzai wants total Afghan control of detention operations, meaning all Afghans being held by the United States and NATO allies would be turned over to Afghan authorities immediately.

The United States is not eager to give up control of those Afghan detainees because of concerns about whether Afghan authorities would properly handle their cases and under what authority they might be released.

Opinion: Karzai visit a time for tough talk on security, corruption

It is unclear whether Karzai will push for the handover of prisoners before he makes any deals on legal protections for U.S. troops who will serve in Afghanistan after the official end of the NATO mission.

At least one senior defense official thinks that if Karzai gets what he wants while in Washington, then negotiations over those legal protections will be much easier later.

But other defense officials think it is impossible to know what Karzai will demand while he's in Washington.

"It's Karzai; who knows what he will want on any given day," one official said.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will discuss the post-2014 plan with NATO allies when he travels to Europe next week.

Later next week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will fly to NATO headquarters to talk about the plan with his allied peers in Brussels.

Defense officials said the feedback from the allies could shape the post-2014 plan.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Karzai • NATO
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. charity funding in scotland

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    March 12, 2013 at 6:15 am | Reply
  2. bob

    cut the crap guys.. India doesn't share border with Afghanistan and neither does India give money to Afghanistan..
    Whatever help India does to Afghanistan is by taking up infrastructure projects and doing the work on those projects..so stop taking non-sense.

    January 9, 2013 at 2:41 am | Reply
  3. GonzoinHouston

    Karzai won't last six months after our troops leave. His army won't support him, his people won't support him, and Pakistan sure as hell won't support him!

    January 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  4. Chuckie A

    The American invasion of Afghanistan brought to the forefront the irrelevance of India as a nation. With a population of over 1.2 billion people there was no value that this nation could bring to the table. Their soldiers (ragtag) 1.2 million continue hiding in the trenches scared from Talibans. A few teenage Talibans invaded the country and held it hostage for days on end showing how useless India is. It was embarrasing for the world to observe this humiliation of a nation that was being touted as a regional power. The Talibans brought them down in a few days with some BB guns. It is all over for India. Its demise is in process and should be completed with Afghanistan withdrawal.

    The bottom line is that the only way to have peace in Afghanistan and lessen regional tension is split India into pieces. It has become too big to govern or create any value for western countries or even for its own population. We have invested a lot of resources in India over the past two decades and given a lot of aid to prop it up. There has been no return on this investment.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • Shailendra

      It is not true Chuckie. I am a citizen of India and I know how my country works with their counterparts. We are at number four (4) in the world by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that provide its worth. We have one of the largest Army/non Army troops in the world equipped with modern weapons and it has proved their strength in the Kargil and previous wars with neighboring countries. We are richest in culture and heritage. We are peace loving state. We have always believed in peace and harmony of the other states/nation despite of the fact that we have capacity to conquer them. And the Talibanis attack you are talking about (were not Talibanis but Pakistani) we took about 3 days in the operation because we did not wanted to hurt inhabitant (your & mine) people of the respective Hotel (majority inhabitants were foreigners) and we make the operation successful by minimal loss. Our political system is not at his utmost due to its diversities, corruption and bad governance (internally) and it happens in every nation (more or less) but it does not mean they are not integrated at national level. We are moving ahead day by day steadily in every aspect despite of all corruption. There is enormous strength in India which I cannot describe here. You may be misinformed or mis-communicated. If you really want to know more you should definitely visit India. Disclaimer: By replying this i do not intend to hurt you in any way so be happy.

      January 9, 2013 at 6:39 am | Reply
  5. Tamurlang

    India must cease financing the terrorists and address the Kashmir genocide issue (among others such as Tamils, Maoists etc.) in order for peace to prevail in south asia including afghanistan

    January 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  6. Mason

    Alexander the Great tried and failed, so did Ghengis Khan, then the British, the Soviets in '80s, and now the US.
    The land is inhospitable, thousands of caves for any type of insurgents of any affiliation to disappear into,
    IEDs the bane of ground infantry troops, horses are the preferred way to get around unlike the half-track
    personnel carriers to get bogged down in the spring/fall torrential rains. Time to pack it up and write this
    10 year campaign as a washout.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • Observer

      Not for nothing is Afghanistan known as the "grave yard of empires."

      January 9, 2013 at 1:45 am | Reply
  7. roy

    The US has wasted trillions of dollars in this country something should be taking shape there.

    January 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  8. George Patton

    Afghanistan's future does indeed look quite bleak if Obama's evil plans to convert that country into another U.S. backed pseudo-democracy does come true. That alone will put Afghanistan exactly where China was back in 1900 where foreigners from all around the world pour in and exploit that country's resources thus impoverishing that country along with the populace! The thought of this is truly repulsive!!!

    January 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • mattski

      You lost me at "evil plan". This isn't a Dudley Doright cartoon.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Do you remember the 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China, mattski? Most uneducated Tea Partiers haven't the foggiest notion of what that was nor what it was about. That's why most of these nitwits believe in what we're doing in Afghanistan!!!

        January 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  9. Jeff Salzburg

    India doesn't want a peaceful and progressing Afghanistan, without a role of India in the peace process. Recall how commie USSR and its bud Hindu India massacred Afghanistan and killed 10 million civilians and made 7.5 million refugees that Pakistan had to care for and provide shelter and housing.

    This is the sole reason India has been busy interrupting and conspiring against the Afghanistan peace process and backstabbing US and NATO forces.

    Terrorists from India cross over into Afghanistan every day as if they are walking in 6 Flags and all India comes up with is lame excuses and a clear intent of supporting these terror organizations. Shiv Sena (CAS Branch) are just one example, there are many others.

    The day India will be neutralized and taken care of, 95% of Afghanistan issues will subside.
    India's nefarious agenda in Afghanistan is to keep it unstable and in turmoil until New Delhi is sure that it has got a puppet regime in Afghanistan which it can play and tweak for its nefarious goals. India has for long time waiting for this situation and they already had plans ready for it. All India is focused upon is be fooling the world in the name of war on terror, making money, keep Afghanistan unstable and violent. It mislead Americans into spending US 1 Trillion in losing the Afghan war and the deaths of thousands of American soldiers.

    If you want to fix Afghanistan, first take care of India and Indian Occupied Kashmir and ongoing genocide.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      Gr8 paki replace the name India with Pakistan.For your kind information India does not share a border with Afganistan.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • PCH

        Actually, India and Afganistan do share a border in the northern-most part of India and the eastern-most part of Afganistan, near the Kyber Pass in northern Kashmir. It's not a very long border, less than 150 miles.

        January 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  10. Din

    cut him loose, no matter what happen due to his lack of leadership skills he will blame others and demand for more aid.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  11. Observer

    If only more of our puppets were as sartorially dashing as Mr. Karzai.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Observer True Blue

      You who sheep lover are you out in the fields right now having your way with the sheep, while your at it remember to look up. See my nice red snowflake, you idiot, we all have our own so you can't really copy me, because like me there's only one. Now go find your profit, he's still telling lies.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • Observer


        January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Pepinium

        Observer, here's a clue, (and I promise I will only use short words for your benefit): Its 2012, trying to get through life with a bad 3rd grade education is really , really tough !! Go back to school and become the first one in your family to finish Elementary School. It will make you feel proud and keep the rest of us from trying to figure out how you can even read these posts !!!

        January 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Observer

        Just curious, Pepinium, but why the need to capitalize "elementary school"? Furthermore, how do you find describing this lovely fellow as a well-dressed puppet, offensive?

        January 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  12. CraigM

    Hamid Karzai cannot and should not be trusted. He has shown his total disdain for our troops, for NATO troops, and for America..........except that he extracts billions of dollars out of our Treasury to finance his existence and that he needs and depends on American and Nato troops to keep his worthless rear in power. He demands public apologizes from our top officials when civilians die due to bombing raids or fire fights (this is war and civilians die in war!) and we humble ourselves but let American/NATO troops be ambushed by Afghan Security Forces and he doesn't want to hear any complaining from us. Pull our troops out now, and by the way I am not a liberal but a Conservative Republican, stop our bleeding for a country that despises us and save the lives of hundreds if not thousands of our sons and daughters at the hands of Afghani Third World monsters!!

    January 8, 2013 at 7:14 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Well said! Look at this photo. Karsai gets wealthier every month. His personal "cut" from our aid dollars keeps him very well off. What has he done for his own people? While we build, train and equip an army for him he does nothing to inspire and lead his own people. He appears to be preparing for the return of Taliban rule and insuring he will be their figurehead! All he needs to do is call for "democratic elections" after we pull out. Afghanistan's future is already decided. The Taliban will return and Karsai wants to be their leader!

      January 8, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
  13. massoud

    Is it true that his heroine dealing brother was killed ?

    January 8, 2013 at 1:14 am | Reply
  14. Observer

    Looks can be deceiving but I think there right on the money with Linus and his security blanket. He won't be in power after 2014 and so far seems to have spent more time working against the states then working with them. Tell him what he wants to hear and then pull the rug out from under the slimy bugger. The military should have learned by now he is only really interested in the money he can line his pockets with, nothing nice to say about the man.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply

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