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Hagel warns against stalling on post-2014 Afghan accord

Published on Jan 30, 2014 10:36 PM

WARSAW (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday said the Afghan president's foot-dragging on a crucial bilateral security agreement risked leaving Washington no time to plan its post-combat mission.

"You can't just keep deferring and deferring because at some point the realities of planning and budgeting collide," the Pentagon chief told reporters aboard his plane en route to Warsaw.

NATO combat troops are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by December but the bilateral agreement (BSA) negotiated with Washington allows for a smaller contingent of American troops to remain on the ground.

Without a legal accord however, the United States and NATO would have to drop the idea of a post-2014 force.

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