McCain Wants Afghan President To Sign Security Agreement

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 11:34am
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 11:35am
(Photo courtesy of Office of Sen. John McCain)
Sen. John McCain

Arizona Sen. John McCain, in Afghanistan with several other U.S. senators, said they have warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the consequences of failing to sign a key security agreement with the United States. McCain said he told Karzai failing to sign the deal could subject Afghanistan to a repeat of the experience of Iraq, where as he put it, "We won the war, but lost the peace."

The security agreement would allow American troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond the exit date for the NATO mission at the end of this year. McCain said the meeting convinced him differences between the two countries have been narrowed to the point they can be resolved within a few days or weeks. Without a signed deal all U.S. and NATO forces would have to withdraw from Afghanistan.

The U.S. wants the deal signed, because it needs time to prepare to thousands of troops in Afghanistan for up to a decade. The agreement allows the troops to help train Afghan Security Forces and allows a smaller counterterrorism force to pursue al-Qaida and other groups.

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