Pentagon Urges Eventual Afghan President to Sign BSA
(WASHINGTON) -- Although the results aren't in yet from last Saturday's election in Afghanistan, the Pentagon is already telling the country's prospective new leaders to plan on accepting a post-war pact with the U.S. Pentagon and White House officials are anxious for the new government to sign onto the Bilateral Security Agreement that would leave a residual force of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan past 2014 as virtually all other coalition armies will have left by the end of the year.
Lame duck President Hamid Karzai refused to sign the deal, saying he would leave it up to his successor.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon praised the Afghans for the peaceful voting process that was left largely undisrupted by the Taliban. More than 350,000 Afghan national security personnel guarded polling places.
As it happened, U.S. and NATO forces that provided back-up support weren't needed.
While Afghans wait for the results, Afghan election monitoring groups said that there seemed to be less instances of fraud than the 2009 presidential vote, which wound up reelecting Karzai when candidate Abdullah Abdullah decided not to contest the results.
Abdullah is among those waiting to see if he was elected president outright or if a run-off will be necessary.
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