National Security Adviser Susan Rice says Afghan President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign a security agreement with the U.S. could mean the withdrawal of American forces next year
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Susan Rice, the Obama administration's national security adviser, issued an ultimatum Monday to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai: either sign a bilateral security agreement with Washington immediately, or face the withdrawal of all US military forces and a cutoff of Western funding by the end of 2014.
The exercise in mutual brinksmanship by US imperialism and its Afghan puppet continued to unfold during Rice's secretly organized visit to Kabul. In his late-night meeting with Rice, Karzai not only insisted that he would not sign any deal until after elections next April to choose his successor, but also conditioned any agreement on demands that the US not interfere in these elections, act to further peace talks with the Taliban, and release 17 Afghan prisoners held at the Guantanamo detention camp. He also reiterated his demand that the US military halt all raids on Afghan homes.
The written response issued by the White House was blunt: "Without a prompt signature, the US would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan."
Rice, the statement continued, "stressed that we have concluded negotiations" -- meaning Washington will not consider any new demands from Karzai--and warned that delaying the signing of the accord until next April "is not viable."
The national security adviser also spelled out that a withdrawal of US troops would lead to a cutoff of hundreds of billions of dollars in US funding upon which the Afghan government and US-organized security forces are wholly dependent.