I can just imagine the crapstorm this will whip up:
For the past six years, military relations between the United States and Afghanistan have been governed by a two-page ‘diplomatic note’ giving U.S. forces virtual carte blanche to conduct operations as they see fit.
Although President Bush pledged in a 2005 declaration signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to ‘develop appropriate arrangements and agreements’ formally spelling out the terms of the U.S. troop presence and other bilateral ties, no such agreements were drawn up.
But after a U.S.-led airstrike last week that United Nations and Afghan officials have said killed up to 90 civilians — most of them children — Karzai has publicly called for a review of all foreign forces in Afghanistan and a formal ‘status of forces agreement,’ along the lines of an accord being negotiated between the United States and Iraq.
U.S. officials quoted by the Post say an agreement has never been attempted because “there are just a lot of moving parts” — in layman’s terms, because the Karzai government hasn’t gotten its shit together. One might ask, though, whether this is reason enough not to hold American forces — and ISAF, too, for that matter — accountable for their mistakes. Just because a country is bankrupt and its government corrupt doesn’t mean it can be bombed with impunity — right?