Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Hamid Karzai: No ordinary puppet

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AntiWar (blog), 2 December 2013

The US-based pro-peace blog pull together explanations for President Karzai’s refusal to sign the BSA after the Consultative Loya Jirga’s approval. One of hem is AAN’s Kate Clark:

“Bottom line, Karzai does this because he knows the US ain’t going nowhere. From Kate Clark, at the Afghanistan Analysts Network:

The Americans, like everyone else, are trying to understand what President Karzai’s game plan is. Certainly, if and when he signs the BSA, he loses the influence of a leader still negotiating the fate of his country. What he risks by holding out seems obvious – the complete withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan. Yet this threat falls on deaf ears if, as his spokesman has said, he does not believe in the reality of the ‘zero option’. Instead, Karzai appears to believe that the US wants to stay in Afghanistan come ‘hell or high water’, as, for example, when he told a delighted BBC/RTA television audience in March 2013: “The USA has come and will not go. Therefore, ask for your demands from it with no worries.”

Reportedly, the US is seriously mulling the “zero option” – a complete withdrawal of all troops by the end of next year – if Karzai does not sign the BSA by January. But as Clark points out, “The threat of a ‘zero option’ has also been watered down by mixed messages and the downplaying of it by some US officials” in the press.”

Tags:

Hamed Karzai US-Afghan relations BSA