The US, anxious to protect those who burned the Holy Quran at its Bagram airbase, appears willing to jeopardize the Status Of Forces Agreement (Sofa) that it has been trying to get Afghanistan to sign with it, and which will provide the basis of its remaining in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Because of the Bagram incident, Afghanistan has asked the USA to hand over all detention facilities, including the one at Bagram, to its control, and to cease night raids on Afghan homes. The US has agreed to neither, arguing that Afghan forces are not able to take over detention centres, and that the night raids are too useful a tool against the insurgents. This should be closely observed by those friends of the USA in the Pakistani ruling class, who want normalization of ties even after the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by Nato helicopters at the Salalah checkpost last November. Developments in Afghanistan make clear that arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand.

Even the sympathetically installed Karzai regime in Kabul has not agreed to the Sofa. This means that either the Sofa itself is so full of defects that the puppet regime cannot make the country agree to it, or that there is such little trust in the USA itself that any Sofa would be seen not as a guarantee of Afghan liberties, but as a tool for deepening of the US' current control of the country, even if plans for troop withdrawal are being drawn up on the surface. The reality is that both are true. One major reason is the fact that the Afghan people resent, as they have historically, foreign occupation, to the extent of resisting it by armed force.

While it is for the Afghan people to decide what exactly is in their best national interest, it should be clear that any Sofa with the USA would not serve their interests, and would merely serve the USA. Pakistan is also concerned with how the Afghan conundrum is settled, not just because it is a neighbour of Afghanistan, but because stability in the region means stability for Pakistan. However, as is being shown in Afghanistan, even the subordination of installed puppets is turning to defiance in the face of incessant American demands.