Afghanistan

US won’t stay in Afghanistan without immunity

330473_Lawrence Korb

Lawrence Korb of Center for American Progress believes that the United States will not stay in Afghanistan unless its troops are granted immunity from prosecution by the Afghan government.

“Basically, where we are right now with the Afghan government is that if they give our troops immunity, they will stay” in Afghanistan beyond 2014, Korb told Press TV on Sunday.

“We are willing to stay, if he [Afghan President Hamid Karzai] wants us to stay, but that’s a decision he will have to make,” he noted.

He described the US’s current situation in Afghanistan as similar to its situation in Iraq.

It is “very similar to what happened in Iraq, when Prime Minister [Nouri al-] Maliki would not grant our troops immunity, we didn’t stay.”

The United States insists that any US troops left in Afghanistan after the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country must enjoy legal immunity from Afghan judiciary system.

On October 17, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted US troops must remain under Washington’s jurisdiction.

“Needless to say, we are adamant it has to be the United States of America. That’s the way it is everywhere else in the world,” said Kerry, who discussed a bilateral security deal with President Karzai last week.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of war on terror.

The offensive removed the Taliban from power but more than a decade into the invasion, Afghanistan remains gripped by insecurity despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops.

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