President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to begin drafting plans for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by the year’s end in case the Bilateral Security Agreement is not signed, the White House announced Tuesday.
Obama notified his counterpart, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, of the decision in a phone call.
“President Obama told President Karzai that because he has demonstrated that it is unlikely that he will sign the BSA, the United States is moving forward with additional contingency planning,” said the White House in a statement.
“Specifically, President Obama has asked the Pentagon to ensure that it has adequate plans in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014,” the statement added.
Afghan and U.S. negotiators last year agreed on a postwar security pact governing the role of American forces after the 2014 drawdown of the NATO-led mission.
But Karzai, despite the deal being approved by a council of Afghan elders, has refused to sign, saying that the next president of his country should approve the agreement.
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