Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - In talks that are likely to be confrontational, the United States and Afghanistan are scheduled to begin negotiations today on a new security arrangement between the two countries after U.S. combat troops withdraw from the war-torn country at the end of 2014.
The talks, which could last up to a year, will attempt to reach agreement on a new joint arrangement to satisfy the U.S. goal of denying terrorists a base of operations and Afghanistan's demands for sovereignty.
The Afghan government has long complained about the conduct of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, particularly night raids by Special Operations troops and air strikes and other attacks that kill civilians.
U.S. commanders and troops are incensed over insider attacks. Afghan soldiers and police - or insurgents wearing Afghan security force uniforms - have killed 58 NATO troops this year, including 35 Americans.
The most divisive issue is immunity from Afghan prosecution for U.S. soldiers accused of crimes, which wrecked similar talks between the United States and Iraq last year. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded that U.S. troops answer to Afghan law. The United States has insisted that troops be tried in the American legal system.