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Afghan President Hamid Karzai wangles for more money for U.S. presence

- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2013

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that yes, the United States may indeed install military bases in his country — if America first coughs up enough cash.

"When they do this, we are ready to sign," he said about a looming agreement with the U.S. government, United Press International reported.

The United States has asked that nine military bases be allowed to stay in the country. The bases would serve as home to U.S. troops tasked with training local army officials as well as targeting and rooting out al Qaeda militants, UPI reported.

The United States seeks an 11-year deal on the bases, UPI said. Mr. Karzai has been reluctant to allow any U.S. presence after the troop drawdown and is demanding hefty concessions.

In a Thursday speech, he said the sticking point was the nature of economic incentives that America could provide, UPI reported. Mr. Karzai also has questioned the size of the force that America wants to leave behind. That figure has ranged from 2,500 to 12,000, UPI said.

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