Obama Warns Karzai US Ready to Pull All Troops Out

If Karzai won't sign security deal, plans for a contingency force may be scrapped
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 1:26 PM CST
In this 2013 file photo photo, President Obama listens as Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a White House news conference.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama scolded Hamid Karzai by phone today and warned him that the US is preparing to bring home all its troops at the end of the year, instead of leaving a contingency force behind, reports Politico. Karzai refuses to sign a security deal that, among other things, would grant those troops immunity, reports USA Today. He's already blown by one US deadline to sign the accord, and Obama told him that American patience is running out.

"We will leave open the possibility of concluding a BSA (bilateral security agreement) later this year," said a White House statement. "However, the longer we go without a BSA, the more challenging it will be to plan and execute any US mission." Up to 8,000 troops could be part of such a contingency force, reports Reuters. Its main duties would be to conduct counter-terror missions and train Afghan troops. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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