NPR : News

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

From Kabul, Sean tells our Newscast unit that two main points seem to stand in the way of an agreement.

One is Afghanistan's request for "a firm security guarantee," he says, in which the U.S. would pledge to act if the country is attacked. But for the U.S., such an agreement would require a treaty and Senate confirmation.

And American officials want "to be able to conduct counterterrorism operations here against al-Qaida remnants," Sean reports — something Afghanistan opposes because it would mean foreign troops would act unilaterally.

As the talks continued Saturday, they expanded well beyond their initial schedule, Sean says. A planned afternoon news conference was repeatedly pushed back; Kerry's departure from Kabul for dinner and meetings in Paris was also postponed.

The U.S. has said it wants to finalize a deal on the issue by the end of October.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


From Trembling Teacher To Seasoned Mentor: How Tim Gunn Made It Work

Gunn, the mentor to young designers on Project Runway, has been a teacher and educator for decades. But he spent his childhood "absolutely hating, hating, hating, hating school," he says.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Osceola At The 50-Yard Line

The Seminole Tribe of Florida works with Florida State University to ensure it that its football team accurately presents Seminole traditions and imagery.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.