Karzai: US leaving drones to Afghanistan

As part of a deal worked out with the White House during a recent visit, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country would be getting its own drone fleet from the U.S.

Karzai did not say how large a drone fleet he would be getting, but said they would be for surveillance only, according to report Monday in The New York Times. The U.S., he said, “will train Afghans to fly them, use them and maintain them.”

During the interview reported by the Times, Karzai also said he has been promised additional surveillance equipment, as well as an additional 20 helicopters and at least four C-130s. So far U.S. officials have offered no details on any agreements on aircraft numbers and type worked out between Karzai and Obama during the Afghan leaders visit to the White House.

He told the Times that he got nearly everything he asked for from Obama.

For its part the White House is waiting to see if Afghanistan will deliver on an agreement for immunity for any American troops who stay on after the U.S. entirely wraps up its combat role at the end of 2014. Karzai said that’s a decision that must be made by the country’s loya jirga, or national assembly of elders.

Obama has made it clear not a single U.S. soldier will be staying on if the Afghan government cannot deliver on an immunity deal. It was Iraq’s inability or unwillingness to grant immunity that resulted in all American troops being pulled out of that country after Obama announced the end of the combat mission in August 2010.

About the Author

Bryant Jordan
Bryant Jordan is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BryantJordan.
  • http://octopusmagnificens.blogspot.com.es/ octopusmagnificens

    Beautiful picture.

    • Jsmith
    • W.E.

      Lets just give them our Raptors………Wow this is a dumb move!!!!

      • LetItRole
      • LetItRole
    • Tiger
  • BlackOwl18E

    Something in me thinks this could really backfire on us.

    • cиctema

      It probably will, but somehow the GOP will be found at fault. The finger pointing will all be away from direction of the almighty ‘O’.

    • desert dweller

      No shyt! give these bastards NOTHING! We gave them their liberty..let them keep it on their own!

  • Vaporhead

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. These muslim countries will never ever be allies. Our two cultures are completely different and incompatible. Giving these cave dwellers our technology will only hurt us and our foreign policy.

    • Sandman

      Might as well have given them to the Philippines, though they wont be able to afford maintenance!

    • Icetrout

      This is to be expected from the traitor in chief…making sure his mooslim brothers are well armed against us…guess these will go straight to North Korea for mass production…

    • Michael

      It’s good business, and good sense because its keeps the US involved.

      And in the end, it’s about the economy stupid!

  • Globalstrat

    Obama is looking weak here. Very weak.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, maybe he should stay in Afghanistan another 10 years to not look weak. Live up to those Bush standards Mr. Obama.

      • crackedlenses

        The least Obama could do is not give Karzai so much of our tech. Seriously….

    • retired 462

      What do you mean HERE (lol)

  • C-Low

    Odds are those drones will not be of the Predator Reaper style but more likely the scan eagle or smaller field grade drones. Karzi’s Afghanistan will be cities and strong points in the back country. Short range light drones that can give your patrols a top view or heads up of ambush is very valuable. A handful of rough terrain transports and a few dozen helicopters will be the glue holding it together and swinging to move rapid reaction forces to crisis points as the pop up.

    We are slow dripping those higher end drones to our major allies with high skill sets so the possibility of Afghanistan a weak ally with very very very we are talking illiterate skill base here getting the pole position as just not gonna happen.

    My opinion on what we end up leaving behind will be ala pre 08′, back to the future with the Bushitler Afghanistan management plan. Big Air Base to continue our drone operations and some fast movers tailored for ground support of SOF and rapid reaction forces. Lots of SOF maybe some rangers to give them heft until/if the Afghans can provide a support force for major raids. Trainers working with the Afghan rapid reaction forces until they achieve independence. 10-20k total

    Afghanistan always was a back water that will take generations just to get a gen pop capable to understand the ideas we are trying to instill. The idea from the beginning should have been making a plan that was sustainable for at least one generation min.

    • Jack

      Spot-on, but your wish for policy continuity is unlikely to be realized in this Nation of moral discontinuity and political vacuity.

      We got the govt we deserve.

  • charlie G

    They could not maintain the planes we gave them, why do you think they can maintain the drones. Seems terribly wasteful to me.

    • obviously

      We will probably be the ones paying to maintain their fleet of aircraft for years to come.

  • dennisbuller

    And five minutes later one of them will go “missing” and end up in China…..
    And some scumbag politician and general will but themselves new armored Mercedes…..
    We should be made of two ply since we get used like it by these people.

    • Kevin Smithwick

      Chances the Chinese already have their hands on better equipment through their intelligence operations.aka stealing blueprints and technical document via the internet etc.

    • obviously

      And their also gonna be getting that good toilet paper. You know the 2-ply ultra soft charmin makes.

  • Belesari

    Sorry you seem to have a miss type.

    Karzai: US leaving drones to Afghanistan/Pakistani Taliban/Warlords and whoever else can get them after the Karzai government falls or becomes a kleptocracy or dictatorship after the US leaves. I mean its basicly that now but…

  • http://yahoo.com Punkinjr

    This is a STUPID move by our pitiful President. These drones will immediately become targets for theft by Al-Quiada and other terror organizations. Afghanistan can’t take care of its own people yet we give them high tech surveillance equipment for terrorist to steal and reverse engineer. Iran, Korea, China, Pakistan and any other troublemaker in the world. STUPID, STUPID MOVE BY OUR INDONESIAN MUSLIM PRESIDENT!

    • Kim

      You forgot ‘SOCIALIST’…..

    • guest

      i have never seen so much stupidity packed into 1 paragraph.

      • Kim

        My (Kim) sentence? I was merely being sarcastic about Punkinjr’s brainless rant….

        • cиctema

          Дa, Това́рищ.

    • jtw

      Hey, let’s make a deal: If you’re wrong, you don’t get to talk about your ridiculous conspiracies ever again, k?

  • zolar

    I’m sure Obama would be happy to give the Muslims our entire nuke arsenal if he could get away with it…

    • PolicyWonk

      Well, thats pretty laughable considering that according to multiple years of National Intelligence Estimates (the combined opinions of all 16 of our national intelligence agencies), the Bush Administration, despite all its bravado and childish cowboy diplomacy, gave a staggering victory to Al Qaida, the Taliban, and those who wish the US ill.

      The NIE’s since, have been vastly more favorable to this POTUS than his predecessor. But hey - let not allow FACTS to come into the equation!

  • Lance

    Great idea Karzi leave standard US technology to a filed state which wont make it long after the US leaves and so leave it behind for Iran or Pakistan get a hold of to copy. Real smart!

  • SJE

    I can see giving some basic drones (not reapers), and C-130s. Basic technology that is robust, cheap and easy to maintain, and does not contain any secrets.

  • Simple Man

    The Afghan Air Force basically just shut down because Aermacchi did not provide a service contract or parts on the fleet of 16 C-27A’s. The USAF will be scrapping these aircraft instead of having a contractor repair them.

    How long do you think the Afghans will be able to keep a drone fleet flying. It’s the same 3rd world problem over and over. Buy them nice shiny toys they can play with so the contractors get rich, but provide no support.


    Bad move. Giving a sophisticated intelligence asset to a corrupt government as likely to use it against the US as not is a fools choice made by fools.

  • meir

    Do I just read that right. Drones for the Afghans? They don’t ever use western toilets yet and we are gonna give ’em drones. Is this as a reward for all the green on blue killings? Drones to Afgahnistan , no that just isn’t right.

  • lasinob

    It is a complete waste just like the money the U.S. wastes giving to other countries like Libya, Egypt, Jordan etc etc. I would imagine we also give money to Iran,lol.


      No…but there was something called Iran-Contra guns for hostages…ect ect.

  • Mdlooker

    I was in a parts of Afghanistan to witness 1st hand of the level of upkeep Afghans did to the equipment we’ve given them thus far. Disgraceful at best! It’s, from what I can tell, a mixture of not caring and simply not having the repair parts to keep up on such maintenance. I’ve seen them get the same weapons as us but the only difference was theirs was brand new. So I have to reserve on my TRUE feelings on all of this but we’ve got it all wrong..we’ve developed a welfare nation.

    • Mdlooker
  • Rosalee

    and I suppose the same morons who now cannot fight their way out of a paper
    bag are going to be guiding, and I use the term loosely, them?
    What’s wrong with this picture?
    Oh I know, it makes no sense like half the policies we use in that armpit of a nation.

  • Doug

    This is why the government is always slashing our healthcare and benefits to pay for stupid bad ideas like this. I am continually amazed at the level of ignorance our leaders are at. It doesn’t matter if we gave them paper airplanes. We need to stop this ridiculous spending and making backyard deals to please every Tom, Dick and Harry we bump into. The cost of this single decision could keep our retired veterans cornered under Tricare Prime for at least 5 more years. But no, let’s take advantage of the ones who sacrificed so much and give them much less. What a load of BULL!!!

  • John Trent

    Who’s going to operate and maintain that equipment? There are only six(6) people in the whole country who can read and write and they’re working in the finance office ripping us off, Why are we always looking like fools?

  • 29 Actual

    So Karzai said “that he got nearly everything he asked for from Obama” Not the President, not the US but OBAMA. BS flag Number 1-

  • 29 Actual

    When President Obama asked for immunity for soldiers staying after the troop draw down in Afghanistan Karzai replied. “that’s a decision that must be made by the country’s loya jirga, or national assembly of elders” BS Flag Number 2-

    The US just gave Karzai drones, choppers and fixed wing aircraft, and he can’t make a decision himself? Can you spell bribe? BS Flag Number 3-

    Correct me if I am wrong, but DOD personnel may be forced to take furlough from their jobs while the US give a 5th world country drones, choppers, fixed wing, reach around, and stick it in our own a&&#s. Holy crap! Our budget can’t be decided upon and we are giving away millions in technology to a people who carry AK-47 like fishing poles. Conscrips with AK-s being trained by US Marines and they can’t carry a weapon the correct way. Come on citizens! What is the real deal going on in this used to be great country of ours. Give, give, give. Here you go how about a nice KC-130. By the way could we have slice of bread? Wake the f&^% up!

    • meir

      Well then perhaps this giving of drones should be decision for the American elders. You know those old enough to vote. Or tbetter yet he soldiers who wasted their time in Afghanistan should decide.

  • James

    What a joke, those rag heads are to dumb to know what a drone is.

    • NeoconBrony

      Too dumb. That should be “those rag heads are too dumb to know what a drone is.”

  • enoel

    Wow, Defensetech, you sure allow a lot of mindless, racist drivel to fill up your comments section. It doesn’t make your site more interesting or attractive.

    • Papi1960R

      Any criticism of Obama IS racism.

  • SFC-C+11

    He will only give them to others in the region. A Texas University has already hacked a FLYING Predator owned by DHS. I say give them the good ol’ balsa wood gliders we all remember!

    • meir

      naw they would **** up the balsa wood gliders too.

  • Harry Schwarte

    In one year after we leave this equipment will be smokin’ junk or flying for Al-Quiada and we will be forced to turn it into junk . A complete waste .

  • Hammer6

    The USG should consider supporting a UAS contract on behalf of the Afghan government. This would increase availability and could improve prospects for retaining IP control. Finally, the funds would cycle back to an American company, rather than into a warlord’s pocket.

  • PolicyWonk

    We agreed to give them a pile - o - goodies *before* we got an agreement?

    I’m not impressed.

    • meir

      sure its the appessment of the muslins at any cost. The Obama Doctrine.

  • duuude

    They’ll shoot their trainers in the back before those things ever get off the ground.

  • onejetjock

    This sounds like another Hillary “Benghazi” Clinton suggestion to our pro-muslim President “nobody” voted for but got re-elected. Afghans can’t drive cars, let alone fly drones. Sounds like another tecno giveaway to keep taxpayer spending on new technologies and jobs program. The Afghans will certainly destroy their own installations with them and everyone will go home happy. Can’t wait to see the air show on CNN.

    • Tiger
      • Papi1960R

        Tiger, maybe onejetjock has been to Afghanistan. I have spent nearly seven years of my life there and concur with his comments 100%. Its not 1942, its 2013 and its time we were secure enough in our actual observations to tell the truth. His comments dont sound anything like racism in the 1940s. And as unstomachable to some folks as it sounds, sending Japanese into camps during WW2 was a smart move. Today we our kids are taught about the RACIST policies during the war. Thay aren’t taught about the thousands of Japanese Americans who were actually caught and inprisoned as Axis operatives & supporters. Stop reading headlines and do some research for yourself.

        • Tiger
          • blight_

            “To find a needle, you must burn the haystack”

            Said Governor General of Poland, ever?

  • mehrdad

    obama gives afghan drones and suddenly out of now where it turns out that it has landed in Iran for their christmas surprise like the other drones obama sent there.

  • Mike

    I seem to remember giving Iran sophisticated radar and ,when Americans were taken hostage there, we mounted a mission to rescue them, flying undetected through a hole that we intentionally ln the radar. Common sense would dictate that whatever we give them is either a trojan horse or technology that our enemies have already acquired. Probably both.

  • XRay

    Do you think Chuck Hagel will have enough sense end this type of lunacy? In a matter of months we would be trying to shoot them down over Minneapolis, Buffalo, Seattle, San Diego or Miami. Get people in there that understand the consequences of this type of action. Those of us that are old enough have seen this backfire time and time again.

  • Papi1960R

    Kumbaiya insanity coupled with imaturity are the only leadership traits being displayed by our Masiah,peace be upon him, at the White House. Just give the Afghans everything we can ASAP, its the fastest way to funnel modern arms to al-Queda in North Africa, so they can repell the French Colonial Crusaders.
    While the lamestream media obsesses over Lance Armstrong cheating in a sport nobody cares about, and that a Notre Dame linebacker had a online romance with with an imaginary girl. Not a word about a two term President who admits that his romance with a New York college girlfriend, as chronicled in 71 pages in two different books he wrote(well maybe), was made up and the girlfriend was a wholly fictional character. The fact that he peddled these books in person to 14 different publishers, as the memiors of a Kenyan immigrant student is not an issue also.
    Elections have consequenses. We got what we deserve. Quit whining.

  • blight_

    Chances are they will get the lighter drones; if they get Preds it requires the GCS equipment to operate them locally, plus the communications equipment to make it possible.

    They would be better served with aerostats with IRST equipment to track the Taliban moving at night.

  • Dan H.

    Please tell me that we aren’t that stupid!

  • Jim

    The dumb SOB in charge of us all is still under the delusion that we can buy friends and that they will not stab us in the back the first chance they get. The next thing you know the Taliban will be flying our own drones over NYC and DC. Who’s side is this idiot on???

  • Dale Patterson

    During the Afghan/Soviet conflict of the 80’s Ronnies wiz kids came up with a real bright move . . . “GIVE” the Afghan freedom fighters STINGER missiles to fight the Soviets with. It got the USSR’s air force off their ass’s but it didn’t feed, cloth, or arm them any further, so they traded the STINGERS to who ever would supply them with the equipment or supplies they needed. Iran was happy to oblige. Giving these people drones would be absolutely stupid. Iran, China, international terrorist, drug cartels, Russia, and who knows who else will be at their front door to purchase software and study design specs for their air forces or criminal goals. This smacks of planing by the military industrial complex to make more money down the line or out right STUPIDITY by Obama and his administration of fools and crooks.

  • SFP

    Afghanistan always was a back water that will take generations just to get a gen pop capable to understand the ideas we are trying to instill. The idea from the beginning should have been making a plan that was sustainable for at least one generation min.