The clock is ticking for Karzai and the rest of Afghanistan as the US has come to a decision regarding their troop deployment post-2014. If Karzai does sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, a force of 10,000 will be left for the security of the country by the US in addition to an estimate of 2000-3000 troops by the rest of Nato. The Pentagon believes that a smaller force would be of no use and order a complete pullout in the event of a refusal to sign the BSA, considering the extent of the insurgency. Protecting the diplomatic presence and the infrastructure of Afghanistan is reportedly the main priority for this force, and will not only consist of various military units but will also have a wide network of intelligence gathering operatives.

Obama wants to end his second term on a high note by claiming to have ended one of the longest conflicts of the US, and will hope to complete the pullout in the next two years— by 2016 —if troops stay after all parties accept the BSA. Karzai’s refusal is supposedly to protest the immunity clause in the agreement which would mean that foreign troops would not be tried under Afghan law, but that cannot be the only reason, and his real motive has so far remained indecipherable.

His stubbornness to wait for the presidential elections might prove to be the end of this regime considering that a failure for any candidate to get a majority or any other delay might result in the new President being elected as late as December. The Afghan army desperately needs training, money and equipment if they are to hold their own in the long run in the fight against the Taliban. The chaos that threatens to engulf Afghanistan has been only marginally kept at bay by the 56,500 troops currently deployed by the Western nations with 66% of that number being provided by the US alone.

2015 will be a momentous year for the war-struck nation in either case and Karzai is the only person who can decide which way the scales will tip. A decision that should never be placed in the hands of just one individual, let alone someone this unpredictable, there is no use of lamenting the facts that cannot change. He needs to make up his mind, get through the issues and sign the agreement that will shield Afghanistan against the onslaught of the enemy.