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Afghanistan: BSA Prolongs the Longest War in US history

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02/21/2015 06:05 AM
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Afghanistan: BSA Prolongs the Longest War in US history
Afghanistan: BSA Prolongs the Longest War in US history

The people of Afghanistan as well as the observes of the US-Afghan war were not surprised to see Afghanistan’s newly elected President, Ashraf Ghani, signing Bi-Lateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US on the very next day he sworn in as the country’s President. In fact, he and other candidates who contested elections, had already announced during their respective election campaigns that they whole-heartedly support BSA and would sign it after they are elected. Mr. Ashraf Ghani wasted no time in fulfilling this promise. However, this promise has laid the basis for prolongation of the US’ already ‘longest war’ for at least another decade. The BSA has proved that the US is not going to withdraw from Afghanistan nor is she going to stop fighting the Taliban.

Although the US and its allies are reducing the number of troops currently fighting in Afghanistan, with some allied states withdrawing completely, BSA allows the US President, including the current and subsequent Presidents, to increase the given number of troops anytime in future.

It is significant to note that what is now being called “good” for the people of Afghanistan was not acceptable to the previous government. As such the scene and the mood at the signing ceremony was in marked contrast to the increasingly intense and even hostile exchange of expressions between the officials of Karzai government and the US government. Among other things that pushed the Karzai government against signing this agreement, one of the most important things was that this agreement would in no way bring an end to the on-going war. To a great extent this is true. For instance, this agreement would allow 9,800 US and at least 2,000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan after the international combat mission formally ends at the end of 2014. Most of them will help train and assist the struggling Afghan security forces, although some US Special Operations forces will remain to conduct counterterrorism missions.

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