US To Withdraw Troops In Afghanistan By The End Of 2014

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The Obama administration is serious with their plans of withdrawing US troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is not signed. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been refusing to sign the Bilateral Agreement, which will allow continuation of various combat operations of American troops in the country.

The White House and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released statements revealing that President Obama is already impatient with the refusal of the Afghan President to sign the BSA. President Obama pointed out in a phone call with President Karzai that with his refusal to sign the BSA, there is no sufficient time left to properly plan the keeping of US forces after 2014.

However, a senior Pakistani official who refused to be identified warned that withdrawing US troops by the end of the year would result to bad situations and possibly civil war. According to the Pakistani official interviewed by CNN, if all forces are withdrawn, almost 30% of the Afghan forces will desert.

Although Karzai refused to sign the BSA, one presidential candidate declared that he is willing to sign once he is elected president. Presidential election in Afghanistan is scheduled this April. According to his interview with CNN’s Amanpour, Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said that Afghanistan would still need military and financial assistance from the US in the coming years.

Although Obama administration is still open for the option of keeping the troops, Pentagon is already ordered to plan the possibility of withdrawing almost 33,000 US troops in Afghanistan. Jay Carney, White House spokesman said that if no agreement is signed soon, they will no longer deploy US troops on the ground.