US and Afghanistan do not stop secret negotiations
The secret negotiations between the United States of America and Afghanistan do not stop, despite the fact that Hilary Clinton recently declared that Washington does not want to have its “permanent bases” in Afghanistan anymore.
The US authorities have for quite a long time been conducting secret negotiations on a long-term agreement on strategic partnership with the Afghan authorities, according to which the US armed forces may “stay” in Afghanistan for decades.
These “unofficial” negotiations on securing a strategic partnership have been in full swing for over a month now. The question is being resolved that at the end of 2014, the US troops will continue to be in Afghan territory, as well as the question of the exact date for the withdrawal of all one hundred thirty thousand US military
The US authorities agree with Hilary Clinton and her statement about the unwillingness to have “permanent bases” in Afghanistan, as well as the fact that this formulation allows for many more different agreements.
"The US military units in different countries are quite a long time, although not at all," - a quote from an American official.
British units have also already planned their presence in Afghanistan after 2014, but as trainers and mentors, as NATO officials said.
But this does not mean that these mentors will not participate in battles. For example, they can constantly fight near the Afghan units.
In addition, NATO leaders believe that the unrest in Afghanistan will continue beyond the end of 2014.
In Afghanistan, there are already at least 5 bases, possible candidates for the deployment of American forces, military equipment, tracking equipment and reconnaissance units for the time after the 2014 year. These bases plan to have the status of strategic assets, and will be located in the heart of one of the most volatile regions in the world near the borders of Iran, China and Pakistan, as well as near the Persian Gulf and Central Asia.
These US-Afghan negotiations are causing concern among most countries in the region, as well as beyond. Russia and India are extremely wary of the long-term presence of the United States. China, which is pursuing a policy of non-intervention outside economic issues, also expressed its concern. Neighboring Pakistan, namely the highest unofficial officials tried to convince their Afghan counterparts that China should be chosen as a strategic partner, but not the United States.
A new round of talks has already been scheduled for the end of this month in Kabul. A preliminary draft of the Americans on cooperation was completely rejected by the Afghans. Two weeks ago, they submitted their own proposals to Washington. As one Afghan official said, the US project was “vaguely worded”.
Afghan representatives are currently preparing detailed additions to their own proposals, which reflect their specific requirements.
But Afghanistan is playing quite a subtle game. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, along with senior leaders, views the continued presence of US troops and expanded strategic engagement with the United States as necessary, mainly to protect the state from its neighbors.
Rangin Spant, Afghanistan’s national security adviser and lead negotiator with the United States, is concerned that Afghanistan faces the threat of world terrorist associations that are a threat not only to his country, but to the rest of the world, including Western countries. He stated that he would like a partnership that could unite the countries of the region.
Ashraf Ghani, one of the negotiators with the United States, noted that although the United States and NATO consider stability within Afghanistan as essential for their main strategic goal — the elimination of the Al-Qaida terrorist group, the United States is not interested in “prosperous Afghanistan”. “This is our goal, not necessarily theirs,” he also said.
Despite Ghani’s emphasis on the “consensus on substantive provisions,” there are still considerable disagreements.
One of them is the question of equipping the Afghan air force with Americans. Karzai asked for workable and fully modern jet fighter jets. The Americans expressed disagreement for fear of destabilizing the region and on the basis of the cost of such equipment.
Another is the question of US Army units that would conduct operations outside Afghanistan from bases inside it. So, from Afghanistan, the military power of the Americans could easily be transferred to Pakistan or Iran.
“We will never allow Afghan land to be used against a third party,” Spanta said.
The third controversial issue is the legal basis by which troops can remain in Afghanistan. Afghan officials are entitled to demand that any foreign forces (in this case, the military) be under their jurisdiction. They may also require that they be the final authority for the deployment and use of foreign troops.
“There should also be no structures that make decisions in parallel ... Everything should be in accordance with our constitution and sovereignty,” said the national security adviser in Afghanistan.
Neither side can agree on the pace of leading the negotiations to an end. The United States wants to have an agreement by the beginning of summer, before Barack Obama announces the expected withdrawal of troops. This is “simply impossible,” the Afghan official said.
Although, there are fears that the conclusion of such an agreement may also face attempts to find a political compromise in order to end the conflict with the Taliban.
A European diplomat in Kabul remarked: “It’s unlikely the Taliban will be happy newsthat the US bases will be located in Afghanistan in the near future. ”
But the top leaders of NATO responded that a permanent military presence would be a demonstration to the rebels that the West was not going to leave Afghanistan and would incline them to negotiations, but not a struggle.
The US-Afghan talks are taking place in the very center of the clash between the leaders of the regions in order to occupy a position that the top officials of the United States of America now call the “place of NATO”.
Marc Sadvill, a NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, recently mentioned the threat of the 3.0 Big Game in this region, referring to the destabilizing conflict between the British Empire, Russia and some other states of South-West Asia in the nineteenth century.
Usually Afghanistan is represented as the country used by the leading powers. Dr. Ghani argues that this was not a "plan for the twenty-first century." Instead, he said, Afghanistan could turn into an “economic circular intersection” of Asia.
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