Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Karzai Demands Risk Pushing U.S. to Total Afghan Exit

< 1 min, 27 November 2013

AAN’s Martine van Bijlert on Karzai’s response to the BSA jirga:

Karzai is convinced that the U.S. has no intention of leaving, according to Martine van Bijlert, co-director of Afghan Analysts Network, a nonprofit policy group based in Kabul. The Afghan leader believes negotiations over the security agreement provide “the one leverage he has to influence U.S. behavior in Afghanistan and he intends to use it as much as he can,” Van Bijlert said in an e-mail. “Because of the lack of trust, the more pressure is put on him, the more he will probably believe that he is indeed standing in the way of some specific U.S. agenda.”

The two sides are still underestimating each other’s position, Van Bijlert said. “On one hand, the U.S. is obviously more keen to leave than Karzai thinks,” she said. “But it is, on the other hand, probably less likely to fully pull out than most Americans believe.”