The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Photos of the week
Our top photos from the past week. Full Article
Images of February
Exclusive: Soros' son strikes out on his own
30 Mar 2012
At least three winners share record $640 million U.S. lottery
Unpaid bloggers' lawsuit versus Huffington Post tossed
30 Mar 2012
Supreme Court takes up healthcare in secrecy
30 Mar 2012
UPDATE 2-At least three winners in record $640 mln U.S. lottery
Poll: Americans angry with Obama over gas prices
Cheney recovering after heart transplant: spokeswoman
Black friend defends shooter of Florida teen
U.S. and Russia ''disagree'' on Syria
Fri, Mar 30 2012
Urine eggs a delicacy in China
Thu, Mar 29 2012
China car collision caught on video
Afghanistan presses for answers on long-term U.S. military bases
Dozens of Taliban killed in fighting in west Afghanistan
Fri, Mar 30 2012
Afghan defense ministry denies bomb plot
Wed, Mar 28 2012
Three foreign soldiers killed by Afghan forces
Tue, Mar 27 2012
Afghan gun massacre families paid compensation
Mon, Mar 26 2012
Afghan Taliban say U.S. must rebuild trust for talks
Mon, Mar 26 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Insight: In Israel, an illegal outpost faces its reckoning
In Gupta case, U.S. must disclose Blankfein deposition prep
U.S. servicemen sit after boarding a transport plane before leaving for Afghanistan at the U.S. transit center at Manas airport near Bishkek, March 27, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Vladimir Pirogov
By Sanjeev Miglani and Hamid Shalizi
Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:40am EDT
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan wants the United States to clearly spell out what sort of military presence it will leave behind once most of its combat troops leave by the end of 2014, a senior Afghan official said.
It is also pressing Washington in talks over future cooperation to detail to be more forthcoming on what will be on offer for Afghan forces as they ready to take over responsibility security in the country that is still at war.
"These are issues that concern us. We want to know how many bases will be there, how many soldiers and what will be their mission. And what will we get from the United States for our security forces," President Hamid Karzai's chief spokesman Aimal Faizi told Reuters, without specifying what levels he thought would be appropriate.
In negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Deal on long-term cooperation, one of the stumbling blocks is the U.S. plan for a limited military presence to ensure members of al Qaeda and other militant groups do not find a sanctuary again.
Countries such as Russia, China and Pakistan are wary of an indefinite U.S. military presence in the region. Neighboring Iran strongly opposes the plan.
"Ultimately, it is we who are responsible for our security. We are moving towards taking full control. If there will be foreign military, then it has to be put clearly in a future security document," another senior Afghan official said.
The issue comes at a time of growing sensitivity over the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan after a series on incidents involving U.S. troops.
In January a video surfaced showing U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses, followed by burning of copies of the Koran at the main American base in Bagram.
Then this month 16 people, mostly children and women, were killed in two villages of Kandahar in an unexplained shooting rampage blamed on a U.S. soldier. Karzai called for NATO forces to pull out of rural areas and stay in their bases, saying he was at the "end of the rope."
A spike in so-called green-on-blue attacks on foreign forces by Afghan army and police has stoked concern that some of that anger is spilling over into the security forces and turning them against their western allies.
The talks halted after the Kandahar killings but have since resumed.
Because of Afghan concerns, both sides have agreed to separately discuss the issue of military bases while pressing on with the strategic partnership deal they hope to wrap up by May when a NATO summit in Chicago is scheduled.
"Right now negotiations are taking place, almost on a daily basis. We think we will have an agreement soon," Faizi said.
Afghanistan, which earlier had sought a blanket ban on the night raids by foreign troops, says it is ready to consider them as long as they are "Afghanized" or conducted by Afghan forces and in accordance with the laws of the country.
"You just can't have a situation where a bunch of people land up somebody's house, break open the door and go in," Faizi said.
The United States says the night raids are a key element in the fight against the Taliban who it says operate in many parts of the country from within population centers.
(Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.