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.)