US-Afghan pact ‘does not rule out drone strikes’

By AFP
Published: May 2, 2012

If there are attacks of any state aimed at us we have inherent right of self-defence and will employ it: Ryan Crocker.

KABUL: The pact between the United States and Afghanistan could leave the door open for continued drone strikes against insurgent targets in Pakistan after 2014, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker indicated Wednesday.

“There is nothing in this agreement that precludes the right of self-defence for either party and if there are attacks from the territory of any state aimed at us we have the inherent right of self-defence and will employ it,” he said.

Crocker was responding to a question about controversial drone strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda targets in Pakistan at a briefing on the deal signed in Kabul overnight by US President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement states that the United States will not use its presence in Afghanistan to launch offensive actions against other states from Afghan soil.

However, it does say that in the event of threats to Afghanistan the two countries would consult on an appropriate response.

“This is defensive in nature, not offensive, doesn’t threaten any one, but I hope the region takes notice,” Crocker said.

US officials are loath to discuss the secretive CIA program, the source of sharp tensions between Washington and Islamabad. Drones have killed scores of what the US government says are al Qaeda suspects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

This week, Obama aide John Brennan insisted that the missile strikes were legal, ethical, proportional and saved US lives.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon warned that insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan and corruption posed “long-term and acute challenges” to security in Afghanistan.

Crocker urged Pakistan to take action against safe havens and prevent cross-border attacks by the Taliban.

“I hope Pakistanis will take a look at this agreement and say ‘Wow, the Americans are not going to cut and run this time. We don’t need to hedge our bets, we don’t need to put up with these guys any longer’ and either take control of them or press them into the reconciliation process.”

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Cautious
    May 2, 2012 - 8:57PM

    If there are attacks of any state
    aimed at us we have inherent right of
    self-defence and will employ it: Ryan
    Crocker.

    Sounds reasonable to me. Pakistan makes the spurious argument it’s OK to ignore the militants who use it’s territory to attack it’s neighbors and it would be hypocritical to condemn Afghanistan for allowing it’s allies to use it’s territory to launch defensive attacks at militants finding safe haven in Pakistan.

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  • Sultan Mahmood
    May 3, 2012 - 12:24AM

    We will come to you one way or another!!! U guys destroyed my land and murdered my ppl… u will pay!!!

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  • Pollack
    May 3, 2012 - 7:38AM

    This defense pact between the US and Afghanistan has sinister implications for Pakistan. It assures the US that they will have Afghanistan as a base to carry out operations against Pakistan in case they feel that Pakistan continues supporting the afghan Taliban attacks inside Afghanistan.

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  • Nasir
    May 3, 2012 - 11:54AM

    Making Pakistan an escape goat on own failures…

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  • Manna
    May 3, 2012 - 12:34PM

    @Pollack: LOL.. Are You kidding me? First haver to deal with the local Afghans. Did they conquer that in 10 years? No.. That simply means in Military term a Big “DEFEAT”. That’s what it means. Now for grapes are sour when someone does not get it, it always try to blame someone or something else. Let me remind that the Mission of US forces was OBL.. He is dead.. they already declared that they dont see talibans as enemy and they are negotiating with them already.. so Your argument go in the dust bin right now..LOL.. As far as it’s concern , Who will rule the afghanistan, then only Afghans have the right to decide it. No hindu terrorist State will dictate that who should come to Power in Afghanistan. Grapes are sour Mr. Pollack or Alias … Indian web troll. Just gtrow up ..Would ya? and stop hiding behind fake name. I am sick and tired of you guys.. You all behave like a bunch of Idiots.

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  • BlackJack
    May 3, 2012 - 2:56PM

    @Manna:
    Why the sour face and personal attacks my friend? What was wrong in Pollack’s statement? After all, for a strategic defense agreement between US and Afghanistan, you need Afghans too. If the US has been defeated in the war, then you have nothing to worry – they pose no threat to Pakistan if they cannot even control Afghanistan, right? Afghans can decide who they want to rule them by electing another govt. Cheer up.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 4, 2012 - 8:48PM

    No doubt Islamabad is not pleased with this pact. Pakistan has been trying so hard to ban the drone attacks on its territories. Now it feels the pressure from the U.S. to “clean up” these sanctuaries in the tribal areas that are seen as safe havens for insurgents against Western troops in Afghanistan.

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