Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Negotiations move forward on U.S.-Afghan security agreement
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Aug 26, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Negotiations on the status of forces in Afghanistan after 2014 are complicated by the question of whether and how to prosecute U.S. personnel accused of violating Afghan law, officials said.

The Status of Forces Agreement is intended to clarify the role and status of U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the bulk of the U.S. military, scheduled to be completed in late 2014.

A major point of contention in the discussions is whether U.S. troops accused of violating Afghan law and committing possible war crimes will be subject to Afghan rather than U.S. military law, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Sunday.

A divergence of views is increasingly evident between Kabul, which wants U.S. forces accused of purported violations of Afghan law subject to prosecution in Afghan, rather than U.S., courts, a position Washington has strongly resisted in previous negotiations with nations harboring U.S. military forces.

A similar disagreement over SOFA terms led to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 as the Iraqi government refused to abrogate its rights to try U.S. forces for purported war crimes.

Two events are complicating Washington's attempts to negotiate an agreement with Afghanistan, the report said.

The first is that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, up to now an intermittently stalwart U.S. ally, will be stepping down the presidency following the 2014 presidential elections.

The second incident roiling U.S.-Afghan relations is the case of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Baes, who left his remote post at Camp Belambay March 11, 2012, and walked to two nearby villages, shooting 22 people, 17 of them women and children, and killing 16.

The killings were the worst case of civilian deaths blamed on a rogue U.S. soldier since the Vietnam War and further strained U.S.-Afghan relations. Bales was subsequently transferred to the United States and court-martialed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

He pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced Aug. 23 to life without parole.

While defense attorneys for Bales argued he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury even before his deployment to Afghanistan, prosecution witnesses, including Afghan civilians flown in the for the proceedings, testified to the impact of the attacks.

Afghan Haji Mohammad Wazir, who had been absent when the assault occurred, returned home to find the bodies of 11 of his relatives, among them his wife, mother, brother and six of his children. Through an interpreter Wazir told the court, "If someone loses one child, you can imagine how devastated that person would be," adding that His surviving 4-year-old son, who was with him at the time of the killings, "misses everyone."

As "Haji" is an honorific title given to Muslims that fulfill their Islamic requirement to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, Wazir's comments carry great weight in Afghanistan.

To break the SOFA negotiations deadlock, Karzai has assembled a new team of high-profile negotiators, including his national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadizai, and Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul to accelerate discussions with the U.S. government in an attempt to reach an agreement.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Pakistan says one dead in latest Kashmir clash
Islamabad (AFP) Aug 21, 2013
Pakistan's military accused India Wednesday of killing an army officer and seriously wounding a soldier in the latest clash across the disputed border in Kashmir. Tensions have flared between the nuclear-armed neighbours in recent weeks over the Himalayan territory, which both control in part but claim in full. Skirmishes have erupted across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), ... read more

Modernized Patriot system aces PAC-3 test

US missile shield safeguards not enough for compromise

LockMar Receives Contract Modification For PAC-3 Missiles

Rafael gears up for Israel's new defense era

Russia destroys missiles destined for Iran: report

New Iran launchpad for ballistic missile tests: experts

Raytheon receives contract for advanced Standard Missile-3

US Army and USAF intercept cruise missile for first time with JLENS-guided AMRAAM

Promise of jobs triggers scramble for civilian drones

Yemen asked US for drones: president

Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Achieves Continuous Flight for More Than Nine Hours

US Air Force lacks volunteers to operate drones

New Military Communications Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Launches

US Navy Poised to Launch Lockheed Martin-Built Secure Communications Satellite for Mobile Users

Northrop Grumman Moves New B-2 Satellite Communications Concept to the High Ground

Canada links up on secure U.S. military telecoms network

Israel restarts Merkava tank production

Blast at US naval station wounds eight: officers

Boeing Reaches 250,000-Kit Milestone for JDAM Weapon Program

Boeing EMARSS Aircraft Begin US Army Flight Tests

Japan eyes defence budget increase, Marines-like unit

Shrinking defense budgets affect military aircraft industry

Offices of German defense contractors raided in Greece bribe probe

Lithuania to extradite Russian to US in arms case

Outside View: Seriously? Scoring zero

China's Li stresses ASEAN trade, downplays rows

Commentary: Pivot to oblivion?

Japan could be 'main player' in Asia conflict: minister

Toxic nanoparticles might be entering human food supply

Plasma-treated nano filters help purify world water supply

Graphene nanoscrolls are formed by decoration of magnetic nanoparticles

New tests for determining health and environmental effects of nanomaterials

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement