Tags: us | troops | afghanistan | 2014 | agreement

US Troops Afghanistan: American Soldiers to Stay Past 2014 Under New Deal

Image: US Troops Afghanistan: American Soldiers to Stay Past 2014 Under New Deal
Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar (R) shakes hands with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) before they sign documents to allow some US troops to stay in Afghanistan at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 09:31 AM

U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan following the Tuesday signing of The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) by both countries, which allows 9,800 American soldiers to stay overseas beyond 2014 to train local military and police forces.

According to The Washington Post, the signing took place at the presidential palace in Kabul, and came one day after Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president. The occasion was a happy one, as it signaled the first democratic handover of power in the nation's history. Ghani's predecessor, Hamid Karzai, had refused to sign the agreement.

A secondary agreement — a status of forces agreement — was also signed in the same ceremony permitting a NATO force to stay past 2014.

The BSA itself will keep the roughly 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for most of 2015, but says the U.S. will cut that number down to roughly half by the end of that year. By the end of 2016, U.S. officials plan to have the American presence down to a "normal" embassy security contingent, according to CNN.

The agreement also maintains jurisdiction for the U.S. in relation to its own soldiers for any criminal or disciplinary purposes. U.S. contractors do not have this privilege, and are subject to Afghan laws.

The Taliban was ousted from power in Afghanistan by a military coalition led by the U.S. in 2001, with Karzai rising to power in the wake.

The Taliban continues to stage deadly attacks in the country, however, and Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid posted his reaction to Twitter just hours after the BSA was signed.



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U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan following the Tuesday signing of The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) by both countries, which allows 9,800 American soldiers to stay overseas beyond 2014 to train local military and police forces.
us, troops, afghanistan, 2014, agreement
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2014-31-30
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 09:31 AM
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