Obama tells Pentagon to prepare for Afghan pullout

Obama tells Pentagon to prepare for Afghan pullout

Obama tells Pentagon to prepare for Afghan pullout

Written by Staff Writer

26 Feb, 2014 | 9:53 am

U.S. President Barack Obama has told the Pentagon to prepare for the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year in case the long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement or BSA remains unsigned.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama conveyed the message to his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, in a phone call yesterday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Defense Department will plan for both an orderly withdraw, as well as, continue planning for U.S. participation in a NATO-led mission focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan security forces.

The Bilateral Security Agreement would keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a support role for 10 years. Mr. Karzai has objected to U.S. military tactics in his country, especially raids on Afghan homes, and has said he wants assurances of a dialogue with Taliban militants before it is signed.

The Obama administration has threatened to terminate America’s military role entirely if the accord is not signed.

Karzai, however, has said that his successor should decide whether to sign the pact after Afghanistan holds elections this spring.

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