Naser Koshan

The Soft Wrestle Over BSA Is Turning Ugly


The bilateral security agreement known as the (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States is a crucial path for the stability of Afghanistan and a long awaited opportunity to assure a steady flow of democracy in the country. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has been the battleground for regional rivalries in the recent past and the heterogeneous social structure in the country itself poses tangible threats to us being sacked in devastating ethnic civil war again. Fortunately, during the last 12 years Afghans have somehow started realizing the importance of sticking together as a nation and this trend could further enhance in the presence of a relative peace and close ties with our strategic allies in the future.

The people of Afghanistan has seen it all, we have had the disturbing experience of being neglected by the U.S. government post the soviet exit and we can no longer afford to relive that stern memory yet again. We are a country in transition with a growing need for political and military support from our strategic partners in the long-run and need to emerge as a trustable ally to our friends in the international community primarily with the U.S.

Recently the Afghan president Hamid Karzai called upon a grand consulting Jirga to seal this pact with the U.S. administration and make sure that the U.S. government stand on its promises of training and equipping the Afghan security forces and prevent any political turmoil in the country beyond NATO exit in 2014. Surprisingly, with a unanimous consensus by the participants of this grand Jirga in favor of this agreement and subsequently recommending the president to sign it within a month, the president is coming up with new personal pre-conditions to halt this process and not signing it until the presidential elections in next spring. The way the president is holding back on this critical agreement is both insane and catastrophic for a self-sufficient and army strong Afghanistan. This agreement does not have anything to do with the upcoming elections and its fairness, especially when both the election process and election commission members are expatriates free and handpicked by the president himself.

Not forgetting that during the last 13 years, the U.S. government has been the biggest contributor to the afghan reconstruction process. Meanwhile, this country has lost thousands of servicemen and women in the global war against terror. We as Afghans have to value their sacrifice and start a new era of cooperation with the U.S. government by signing the BSA at its earliest.

Apparently this soft wrestle between him and the U.S. could jeopardize the very existence of Afghanistan as a sovereign country and could risk losing a great deal of achievements gained in the last 12 years. Obviously, this time the U.S. would remain impartial in regards to the upcoming presidential elections and unlikely to go on board with the president on his pre-conditions.

Now by all this drama unfolding at 90hrs, it is a good lesson for the Obama administration to bear in mind and not repeat the very same mistake of re-installing him as the president for the second term in 2009 while the ground realities later indicated that the whole election was based on fraud and staged for his success. Clearly his reluctance to sign the BSA and putting it off post the presidential elections in the country is aimed to pressurize the U.S. administration to endorse his elder brother for the president thus providing him and his family legal immunity from a probable persecution. Mr. Karzai is more interested in safeguarding his family’s kinship and assets post 2014 than protecting the safety of millions of ordinary Afghans by signing this deal.

Luckily, there is an overwhelming support for this deal within the Afghan parliament and political community which the U.S. could use as an advantage to proceed ahead and counter the president and make him think twice before fabricating sidelined interests ahead of this deal or as it is being speculated the U.S. shall sideline the president in this process and look for a potential substitute within the Afghan cabinet to seal this crucial deal within the given time frame.

Last but not least, Mr. Karzai a decade after wasting unique opportunities and making political mistakes is certainly being advised by his inner circle to backlash at the U.S. and other foreign stakeholders in Afghanistan and try to re-establish himself as a savior and patriot for the sake of a mild to be written history on his legacy.

Naser Koshan

November 2013

Washington, U.S.

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