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Media Framing of Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and USA

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Abstract

Security in the region is one of the most important matters in international studies because it had many ups and downs during last decades. Although International Society leading U.S. sent troops to Afghanistan in order to fight against international terrorism, but still security challenges are remained the same. However, currently there is more consideration on roots of terrorism in Pakistan, but they are going to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after 2014. Some countries were pessimistic on presence of U.S. because they think U.S. has interests in Asia, controlling China, Russia and Iran. But others are worrying about future of region; especially that extremism is being expanded to the east part of China, Central Asia, and even to the south borders of Russia. Strategic agreement between Afghanistan and U.S. may have both negative and positive effects and impacts on security in the region. This research paper investigates Afghan media towards bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA and its impact on regional peace and security. For this purpose, it examines the type of coverage’s about security agreement get in newspapers. Content analysis of news reports from years 2014 to 2017 has done in order to know the framing of security agreement. Results reveal that media has been releasing favorable, natural and unfavorable coverage on security agreement.

 

Key Words 

US, Afghanistan, Peace Talks, Media Framing

 

Introduction

At long last, Kabul and Washington have signed bilateral security agreement. According to this security agreement 10,000 US troops can remain in Afghanistan after the international combat mission ends on December31, 2014. The signing ceremony took place in presidential palace Kabul where Afghan national security advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar and American Ambassador James Cunningham inked the so-called bilateral security agreement (BSA).

Afghanistan’s new president Muhammad Ashraf Ghani authorized the ratification of the agreement a day after taking the office, later he addressed the special gathering to defend the agreement, and the right to use force will based on the decision of afghan government and foreign forces will not be able to enter Masjid and other holy sites around the country. As he said (“On this day, Afghanistan has obtained its complete national sovereignty because until now the right to use military force in our homeland was authorized by a United Nations Security Council [resolution]," he said, adding that the agreements will also end civilian casualties and detentions of Afghans by foreign forces, citing them as two major Afghan concerns”)1.

President Ghani also allayed the fear of neighboring countries and saying that they should not feel treated because of the bilateral security agreement with USA, they are signed bilateral security agreement (BSA) for the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and to defend its country against the terrorist network that have become a source of threat for country, region and world at large.

There are five things to understand about the accord signed on September 30, 2014. First, the BSA goes into Force on January 1, 2015 and remains in force until the end of the 2024 and beyond. The document itself does not establish that how many troops will remain in Afghanistan but President Barak Obama announced in May that there would be only 9800 soldiers after December 31, 2014.  Kabul also signed similar agreement with NATO on September 30, 14 to allow 4000-5000 additional troops most from Britain, Germany, Italy and Turkey to stay in Afghanistan as non-combat role after 2014, so the total number of foreign troops which remained in Afghanistan could be up to 14,800.

Second, the US forces mission under the BSA to enhance and build the ability of afghan forces to deter internal and external threat against its sovereignty that includes advising, training, equipping and sustaining Afghanistan’s national defense and security forces which are under the Ministries of Defense and Interior affairs and National Directorate of security. Similarly, the new NATO mission which is led by United States will focus on training and support for the afghan army and police and not combat.

Third, former president Hamid Karzai was indeed not against the agreement but he wanted to ban US soldiers from entering to Afghan homes in future counter terrorism operations that was the issue that he blaming US forces for Afghan civilian death in military operations. Another stick point in BSA was the immunity of US forces from Afghan jurisdiction and law while they committing crimes.

Fourth, the BSA is not a defense pact which would commit the United States to defend Afghanistan against external aggression and threat but that is to say Kabul and Washington will work together to develop an appropriate response including considering political, military and economic measures in case of external aggression.

Fifth, the BSA authorized US forces to maintain existing facilities and undertake new construction so long as they are agreed upon by both sides.

In the region, the neighbor country of Afghanistan, Iran was the first country that objected BSA between Afghanistan and US and accused that US want permanent presence in the region under the guise of fighting terrorism but the white house press secretary Jay Corny told reporters” any continued presence of US forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 would be subject to an agreement between Afghanistan and US governments and would only be at the request of the Afghanistan government”. 

Knowing of bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA it’s so important to be discuss the agreement under the light of media, so a few studies have been done on the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA and its historical background but media’s role is touched by very few. Media has become an important and dominating tool to manipulate the public opinion. It may also provide connection between public and government officials or politicians. So, this research paper attempts to examine the role of media of the bilateral security agreement between both governments. And it also investigates the type of coverage on bilateral agreement get in the news media of Afghanistan.

It’s very important to be mentioned that Media becomes a reflection of foreign policy and source of awareness for high rank officials. In both the cases, strategic importance of media is undeniable.

This impact of media on the foreign policy of any country is dubbed as CNN effect. According to this theory of CNN effect, media can be an accelerant to policy decision-making, an impediment to the achievement of policy goals and most importantly a policy agenda-setting agent (Livingstone, 1997). Media as agenda setting agent becomes a manipulating force. National interests and foreign policy matters are decided according to the content of media. Thus foreign policy of the government becomes a mere reflection of its media content. On the other hand it is also debated that rather than giving its agenda, media actually follows the directives given by government. While covering the foreign policy issues, government’s view point and policies are more prominent than any other point of view (Bennett, 1991; Bennett, Lawrence & Livingstone, 2006).

Whether media follows government policy or influences foreign policy, it surely does set the agenda, only the goals of this agenda setting may be different.

People are informed about realities of the world through media without even experiencing them first hand thus generating the public opinion (Lipmann, 1922).

In a study Cohen (1963) explained the relations of press and foreign policy while saying that media “may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about” (p. 13).

So actually, media does prioritize the issue for its audience and readers which is actually agenda setting (Macomb & Shaw, 1972). Media does so by gathering and presenting the news with a specific treatment thus giving the news desired meanings (Entman, 2005). Framing is a step ahead of agenda setting theory. At agenda setting phase audiences are told “what to think about” while in second phase framing tells people how to think about (McCombs, Shaw & Reporting on bilateral agreement: ……… 35 Weaver, 1997).

Through using certain frames, desired attitude change is brought in people (Scheufele & Tewksbury, 2007). Selection of these frames depends on the type of issue as media coverage varies for every foreign policy issue depending on the involvement of government. According to Schulz (2013) this involvement may be categorized as direct involvement, indirect involvement, and no involvement.

It is very significant to keep in mind that this bilateral security agreement has signed for peace and security in the region so for this reason I want throw light a little bit on Peace journalism because I prepare my research paper under in it. Briefly we can define peace journalism as a special mode of socially responsible journalism which contributes to the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Although this concept has been widely discussed, there has been no assessment of its underlying philosophy from the perspective of mass communication theory. This paper argues that peace journalism draws epistemologically from a naive realism and is, according to mass communication theory, largely based on the assumption of powerful, causal and linear media effects. By contrast, the author theorizes journalism as a highly autonomous though not autarkic system whose function is to provide social co-orientation. If that is true, it cannot be the task of journalism to engage actively in the peaceful settlement of conflicts since this is the task of politics or the military. There is, however, no doubt that journalism can contribute to the peaceful settlement of conflicts, but its potential influence is limited.

 

Significance of the Topic

The research about the Comparative analysis on Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and USA and its impact on regional peace and security in the light of media will help the researchers, students, academicians and people to understand the basics, purpose and importance of the agreement and which have signed between the two governments for the sake of peace and security in Afghanistan as well as the role of media toward agreement.

 

Objective of Research

The goal of research about Comparative analysis on Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and United States/Its Impact on regional Peace and Security is to understand about the basic of the agreement, stake points and importance that how Afghanistan will stable through such type of agreement and the response or reaction of regional countries and afghan Taliban which are stake holders to the conflict how they perceived the Bilateral Security Agreement and how media present such kind of agreements.

 

Problem Statement

Bilateral security agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and United States of America will play crucial role in the stability of Afghanistan and could minimize the risk of competition of regional countries in Afghanistan as well as the role of media in Afghanistan.

 

Literature Review

Kate Clark wrote under the title Afghanistan, United States and the BSA: Who blinks first? About

the Loya Jirga which ended in confusion on September 27, 2013, the purpose of the Loya Jirga was to consult with Karzai’s administration about the Bilateral Security Agreement with United States. At the end of the Jirga President Karzai has added to the conditions that he will not sing Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States before the 2014 elections, while President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice has said if the BSA is not signed promptly the US will have no choice but to start planning for complete withdrawal.

 The author talking about the warning game between Karzai and American administration that zero option which it was meant no US troops, no NATO troops, no enabling of the afghan security forces and disappearance of billions of aid. It was clear warning to Karzai administration to change his position but President Karzai counter the warning by adding to the conditions which he made in the last day of Loya Jirga that an immediate end to US forces entering afghan homes, no meddling in the elections and support for peace process with the Taliban but also freeing all afghan detainees from Guantanamo bay. The Loya Jirga accepted the BSA but President Karzai was standing his list of requests including the freeing of afghan prisoners from Guantanamo.

Ministry of foreign affairs of Afghanistan published an article on September 20, 2013 which is basically talks about Security and Defense cooperation agreement between the United States and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The article further expanded with the commitment of both countries toward strategic partnership agreement between United states and Afghanistan which signed on May 2, 2012 and reaffirming that, as recognized in that agreement the Parties are committed to strengthen long-term strategic cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including:  advancing peace, security, and stability; strengthening state institutions; supporting Afghanistan’s long-term economic and social development; and encouraging regional cooperation and the cooperation between the parties is based mutual respect and shared interest. The strategic partnership agreement paves the way for Bilateral Security Agreement which has signed on September 30, 2014.

US department of State wrote in fact sheet which published in January3, 2017 about Afghanistan and United States Relations and emphasized that Afghanistan remain an important partner of United States in war against terror to eliminate Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. The department of States adding that as active partner US committed to strengthen the ability of afghan security forces to coup with current challenges and deter threats against its sovereignty, improve the lives of afghan people by investing US resources to help Afghanistan improve its security, institutions, governance and economy.

At the end US department of States adding its commitment toward the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) which lays out respective economic and political commitments, and they little elaborated their role in Afghanistan after the 2014 which they involve in non-combat mission just assist, advise, and train afghan national security forces and improve their ability to defend its country. State department of US also mentioned about their troops which remain in Afghanistan (According to BSA 9,800 which US had in 2015, 16) drawing down to 8,900 in January 2017.

Brooking Institution, shared the research article of Vanda Felbab Brown in which he written under the title (the stakes, politics and implication of the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security agreement) about the Loya Jirga consisted of 3000 Afghan elders, politician and members of parliament to take decision about the future of Afghanistan and the role of United States in their country and to accept or not or advise about Bilateral Security Agreement which legalize US to retain forces in Afghanistan after 2014. The writer of the research article Vanda Felbab Brown briefly elaborate about the negotiations over Bilateral Security Agreement between US- Afghan diplomats and argued that due to delay in the agreement was the demands of afghan diplomats that bewildered the negotiation he said there were three issues:

·         Afghan negotiator demanded US guarantees against Pakistan’s military interference in Afghanistan

·         Potentially obligating the United States to attack Pakistan

·         Afghan negotiator has also sought to secure firms, specific multiyear financial aid commitments from United States.

George W. Bush institute shared a research article under the title of “Loya Jirga votes in support of US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement, Karzai delays” which is written by Sara Van Wie. The research article focusses on the role of Loya Jirga which votes in support of US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement and requested Karzai to promptly sign the agreement without delay but in the conclusion of the meeting President Karzai publicly refused to sign the agreement, it worsening both domestic and international tensions. The writer also talked about the sticking points in agreement that was the immunity of US troops from afghan jurisdiction and the ability for non-afghan forces to enter and search afghan homes.

This article “Obama okays new authority for US forces in Afghanistan” which written by Barbara Starr and published on Jun 10, 2016 in CNN politics that President Barack Obama has granted the US military commander more freedom to strike Taliban target to support afghan troops. The writer took the speech of American Defense Secretary Ash Carter in his subject and further adding that “The new authority for U.S. troops would pave the way for military operations to once again support conventional Afghanistan forces against the Taliban under limited circumstances” under the new authorities the US force would be allowed to accompany conventional afghan forces into the field of advised and assist them which was promised by US in Bilateral Security Agreement to able afghan forces to deter any internal and external threat against its sovereignty.

 According to the Bilateral Security Agreement there are 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan and the writer told about the new plane of United States that now calls for drawdown to about 5,500 in 2017.

Netherland’s institute of international Relations “Clingendael” published a research report which has written by Bart Hogeveen on December 17, 2013 under the subject of Strategic Security and Defense Agreement between Afghanistan and United States. The writer specified the articles of Bilateral Security Agreement and the commitment of both governments that US-Afghanistan will cooperate to strengthen security and stability in Afghanistan, contribute to regional and international peace and stability, and combat terrorism to achieve a region which is no longer a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, enhance the ability of afghan forces to deter threats against its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, but on the other hand afghan government will not give the authority to US forces to launch attack from the soil of Afghanistan on other countries because many people inside and outside of Afghanistan suspecting on US presence and interest that more relates to the ability to strike in Pakistan and Iran rather than helping Afghanistan.

Islamabad Policy Research Institute conducted a comprehensive review “Afghanistan beyond BSA” which published October 13, 2014 which is briefly elaborated the participation of President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain during President Ghani’s Inaugural ceremony which was the reflective of Pakistan’s endorsement of this political arrangement. Regarding Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) Khalid Iqbal who reviewed “Afghanistan beyond BSA” generally talked about the response of regional countries which concerns about the agreement the writer argued that Pakistan was concern about the agreement but a day after the conclusion of agreement American ambassador Richard Olson met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and assured him that the BSA will not hurt Pakistan’s interest.

A few studies have been written by media on the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA and its historical background but media’s role is touched by very few. Media has become an important and dominating tool to manipulate the public opinion. It may also provide connection between public and government officials or politicians. So this research paper attempts to examine the role of media of the bilateral security agreement between both governments. And it also investigates the type of coverage on bilateral agreement get in the news media of Afghanistan so we have trailed a lot for demonstrating the agreement in the light of media.

 

Gape of knowledge

According to the above sources about the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and United States and Its Impact on Regional Peace and Security (BSA) in the light of media which have signed on September 30, 2014 in presidential palace Kabul between Afghan National Security Advisor M. Hanif Atmar and American Ambassador James Cunningham, which allow 9,800 US troops to remain in Afghanistan after end US combat mission.

The scholars who wrote about the agreement, its stake points, media role, problems and differences between former President Hamid Karzai’s administration and Barack Obama but they did not touch with how Bilateral Security Agreement will play crucial role in the stability of Afghanistan and could maximize the risk of competition of regional countries in Afghanistan.

 

Research Questions

Following research questions are addressed in this study.

·         What are important points in Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and USA?

·         Will Bilateral Security Agreement play crucial role in the stability of Afghanistan and Afghan National Security Forces?

·         Could Bilateral Security Agreement minimize interference of regional countries in Afghanistan?

·         How Afghanistan's media is framing the bilateral security agreement between both Afghanistan and USA?

·         Is there any difference in the coverage on the Security agreement Afghan news media with reference to their frames and prominence?

 

Important Points in BSA

At long last, Kabul and Washington have signed bilateral security agreement. According to this security agreement 10,000 US troops can remain in Afghanistan after the international combat mission ends on December31, 2014. The signing ceremony took place in presidential palace Kabul where Afghan national security advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar and American Ambassador James Cunningham inked the so-called bilateral security agreement (BSA).

Afghanistan’s new president Muhammad Ashraf Ghani authorized the ratification of the agreement a day after taking the office, later he addressed the special gathering to defend the agreement, and the right to use force will based on the decision of afghan government and foreign forces will not be able to enter Masjid and other holy sites around the country. President Ghani also allayed the fear of neighboring countries and saying that they should not feel treated because of the bilateral security agreement with USA, they are signed bilateral security agreement (BSA) for the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and to defend its country against the terrorist network that have become a source of threat for country, region and world at large.

There are five things to understand about the accord signed on September 30, 2014. First, the BSA goes into Force on January 1, 2015 and remains in force until the end of the 2024 and beyond.

According the agreement 9,800 American forces can remain in Afghanistan after US combat mission end in December 2014. US forces only can assist advice, train and equipped Afghan National Security Forces to coup with existing challenges in fight against terrorism. According to the agreement American forces cannot enter to afghan houses and Mosques and other holy site in the country. it was a stake point that former president of Afghanistan wanted to banned foreign forces from entrance to afghan homes because it cause civilian casualties in the country. Another point in the agreement is the immunity of US troops in Afghanistan from afghan jurisdiction while they commit crimes. Another point in the agreement is that Bilateral Security Agreement is not a defense pact to defend Afghanistan from external aggression but both governments will work in such situation to find appropriate response and the last point is that American forces can maintain existing facilities and constructions of new facilities would be based on the approval of both governments.

 

Stability of Afghanistan and ANSF

President Barack Obama promised in his 2008 campaign that he would train and equip afghan security forces in order to able to enhance their capabilities to maintain security and fight against militancy in Afghanistan. The security situation in Afghanistan remains worse and Taliban looking strongest since US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and the country was witnessing the 5000 civilian casualties in the first half of the 2016.

President Obama said” Instead of being in the lead against the Taliban, Americans are now supporting 320,000 Afghan security forces that are defending their communities and supporting our counterterrorism efforts," Obama said Dec. 6, 2016, in his final address on counterterrorism as president. "Now, I don't want to paint too rosy a picture. The situation in Afghanistan is still tough”. President Obama surged US troops in Afghanistan to 10,000 in 2011 before drawing them down to current level that 9,800 will remain in Afghanistan to train and equip afghan forces, as the US role decreased in Afghanistan the size or total number of afghan forces grown dramatically from 14,0000 to 320,000 when Obama took office in 2009. Since the 2001 invasion, the United States of America has spent about $ 68 billion training and equips afghan forces.

United States and NATO officially handed over the security responsibility to afghan forces in December 2014 when Barack Obama announced an end to the United States combat mission in Afghanistan and most of US solider remain in Afghanistan as non-combatant mission to train, advice and assist afghan forces but according to according to a November 2016 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service about one-fifth of US troops are engaged in counter terrorism combat.

Despite their growth in numbers afghan forces still confront difficulties with retention and are lacking in many support function such as intelligence, modern weapon, air force, reconnaissance and specialty teams like medical evacuation… Taliban looking strong as compared the previous years that they picked up ground in the past years but afghan forces still lean on US troops support for assistance in some extreme combat situation needy for the US troops airstrike assistance to push Taliban in certain areas.

"It remains vital to maintain and expand U.S. air support for the Afghan forces, including direct application of U.S. kinetic firepower beyond in extremis support, to prevent similar Taliban offensives," Felbab-Brown wrote. But on other hand afghan force are gaining more independence to operate, about 80% of their mission’s afghan Special Forces operate without the support of US and NATO troops. But afghan government is saying that they are still facing with difficulties and demand for modern weapons, developed aircraft and strong air force which are necessary in current counter terrorism operations.

 

 

BSA and Interference of Regional Countries in Afghanistan

As we know Afghanistan is landlocked country and has border with a nuclear country Pakistan, Iran, central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) and china which is the world biggest economy and military power. Afghanistan is country which is passing through toughest period of her history conflict and war against terrorism. United States and NATO helps Afghanistan in war against terrorism by US-led coalition which is involved in Afghan scenario since 2001 so the question is that does US and Afghanistan succeeded in war against terrorism or Al-Qaeda?

The answer is, they done well to counter Al-Qaeda and demolished their save heaven in Afghanistan but where Osama Bin Laden killed?

Every know about the operation against Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden who killed in Pakistan that is questioned role of Pakistan as an ally of USA in war against terrorism beside that Pakistan played very crucial role in countering terrorism that more than 400 Al-Qaeda jihadist militant leader or high-ranking jihadist killed or capture by Pakistan.

In September 30, 2014 United States and Afghanistan signed Bilateral Security Agreement to end US combat mission after December 2015 in Afghanistan, but the regional countries such as Iran and Russia object the Agreement by adding that the permanent presence of United States in Afghanistan is threat and seek permanent presence in the region under guise of counter terrorism in Afghanistan. Pakistan initially was concern about the agreement and Khalid Iqbal who reviewed “Afghanistan beyond BSA” generally talked about the response of regional countries which concerns about the agreement the writer argued that Pakistan was concern about the agreement but a day after the conclusion of agreement American ambassador Richard Olson met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and assured him that the BSA will not hurt Pakistan’s interest and after the meeting Pakistan support from US and Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement by adding that being an independent country it’s the right of Afghanistan to choose what is best for them.

China also supported the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and United States they believed that peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is fruitful of the region. Mohammad Shafiq Hamdam (Senior Media and Public Diplomacy Advisor to the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan wrote an article standing by Afghanistan: the strategic choice) which published in NATO Review Magazine, the writer took the speech of President Ashraf Ghani that for fourteen years Afghanistan has been in an undeclared war with Pakistan and it’s also believed that the country continues to be proxy battleground for India and Pakistan, the two nuclear powers. Central Asian countries which have border with Afghanistan and connect through north of the country enjoying good relationship with Afghanistan but Russia as initial rival of USA concern about USA role in Afghanistan and long-term presence in country.

 

 

How Afghanistan's Media is Framing the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and USA?

Whenever American blood thirsty army and spies attack upon our land under the umbrella of human right so they have started bloody war in Afghanistan as well as inhuman operation there. Afghan bereaved people stand against them and start mutual war between them but with the passage of time due to heavy bombardment people of Afghanistan compel to sign an agreement with USA for durable peace and security.               

As a role large number of Afghan national have favorable about bilateral security agreement but in the second hand a number of people were there who have unfavorable about it. As you know that media is the mirror of society so that different media channels and newspapers have started coverage favorable and unfavorable through, they have been returning world faces toward signed bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA.

Note; for the sample I can take data from Kabul time and Afghanistan time.

 

Kabul Time

Data is collected from Kabul time to examine the coverage of the bilateral security agreement.

Kabul Time: Total 55 news items selected from Kabul time.

 

Table 1. Length and Framing of News Items in Kabul time

News Items        

Favorable

Unfavorable

Neutral

Total

Short                       

14

5

5

24

Medium                  

11

8

5

24

Long                        

4

0

3

7

Total                        

29

13

13

55

 

Table 1 show that out of 24 short news reports, 14 are favorable, 5 unfavorable and 5 neutral. In medium length news reports, 11 are favorable, 8 unfavorable and 5 neutral. In long news report 4 are favorable, 0 is unfavorable and 3 are neutral. Hence, Kabul time seems to be in favor of bilateral security agreement as the favorable news reports are more in numbers.

 

Afghanistan Time

From Afghanistan Times, 30 news reports are collected. Table 2 indicates that Afghanistan Times is not supporting bilateral security as the number of unfavorable is more as compared to the number of favorable news.

 

Table 2. Length and Framing of News Items in Afghanistan Times

News Items        

Favorable

Unfavorable

Neutral

Total

Short                       

1

3

1

5

Medium                  

2

8

6

16

Long                        

1

4

4

9

Total                           

4

15

11

30

 

Table 2 indicates that only 4 are favorable, 15 are unfavorable and 1 are1 neutral news reports are found. The ratio of short news report is less than medium and long news reports. Afghanistan time is not promoting the positive and favorable stuff regarding bilateral security agreement.

Already many flaws are present in the policies of both countries. Instead of promoting the positivity, they are promoting the unfavorable news.

In fact, both Kabul time and Afghanistan time coverage the same agreement but there are a little bit difference between them which based upon their policies.

 

Conclusion

The media results indicate that media has given positive coverage to bilateral security agreement and some time it is critical towards the agreement.

 

Theoretical Framework

Many scholars believed that the permanent presence of United States of America in Afghanistan shows an American hegemony in the region and even in the world. American is super power country in the world and has great influence in international politics and international affairs so American needed to stay here in Afghanistan by signing a Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan.

The idea of American hegemony is old as Benjamin franklin but has practical roots in WWII that United States emerged as from that war as the dominant economic, political and technological power without serious damaged to its infrastructure, housing stock or its demographic profile. The word hegemony used by social scientist to describe leadership within competing state system, the Greek historian Thucydides used the term to characterize the position Athens in the Greek world in the middle of fifth century BC.

America as super power politically, economically, militarily and technologically advance has long range objective in the region particularly in South Asia and central Asia and here by signing the agreement with Afghanistan that legalize American Troops to remain in Afghanistan after December 30, 2015 till 2024 can control the whole region from this pivot area (Afghanistan). But on the other hand, afghan government totally depends on the aid and financial support of United Sates to sustain its economic growth, developed afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and its air force.

 So, we can say that the theory which we can apply here is the theory of dependency which developed in the late 1950s under the guidance of the Director of the United Nation Economic Commission for Latin America Raul Prebisch. He and his colleagues were troubled the fact that economic growth of advance developed countries did not necessarily lead the economic growth in the poor countries so they argued that economic activities in advance industrialized countries make serious problem in third world or poor countries.

Dependency can be defined as an explanation of the economic development of a state in terms of the external influences--political, economic, and cultural--on national development policies (Osvaldo Sunkel, "National Development Policy and External Dependence in Latin America," The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 6, no. 1, October 1969, p. 23).1  So we can conclude that Afghanistan totally dependent on United States aid and need USA support to strengthen its military and political structure and ensure economic development. The American administration pledged and support according to the Bilateral Security Agreement that they will train, advice, and equipped Afghan National Army to deter any internal and external threat against its sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.

 It’s very important to be mentioned that Media becomes a reflection of foreign policy and source of awareness for high rank officials. In both the cases, strategic importance of media is undeniable.

This impact of media on the foreign policy of any country is dubbed as CNN effect. According to this theory of CNN effect, media can be an accelerant to policy decision-making, an impediment to the achievement of policy goals and most importantly a policy agenda-setting agent (Livingstone, 1997). Media as agenda setting agent becomes a manipulating force. National interests and foreign policy matters are decided according to the content of media. Thus foreign policy of the government becomes a mere reflection of its media content. On the other hand it is also debated that rather than giving its agenda, media actually follows the directives given by government. While covering the foreign policy issues, government’s view point and policies are more prominent than any other point of view (Bennett, 1991; Bennett, Lawrence & Livingstone, 2006).

Whether media follows government policy or influences foreign policy, it surely does set the agenda, only the goals of this agenda setting may be different.

People are informed about realities of the world through media without even experiencing them first hand thus generating the public opinion (Lippman, 1922).

In a study Cohen (1963) explained the relations of press and foreign policy while saying that media “may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about” (p. 13).

So actually, media does prioritize the issue for its audience and readers which is actually agenda setting (McComb & Shaw, 1972). Media does so by gathering and presenting the news with a specific treatment thus giving the news desired meanings (Entman, 2005). Framing is a step ahead of agenda setting theory. At agenda setting phase audiences are told “what to think about” while in second phase framing tells people how to think about (McCombs, Shaw & Reporting on Afghan refugee issues: ……… 35 Weaver, 1997).

 

Research Methodology

The Research on Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and United States/Its Impact

on Regional Peace and Security in the light of media is a descriptive research and the method which is used quantitative and for the collection of data used secondary source (Research Articles, Research reports, official governmental statements, primary source as (Questionnaires) and content analysis of the news items published from January 2011 to September 2017 in the media Afghanistan is done. Only those news items were selected which were related to bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and USA.        

Content analysis is used for “defining, measuring, and analyzing both the substance and meaning of texts or messages or documents”. For the selected newspapers and TV channels data collected from the online versions.

In order to explore the framing of Security agreement in the media of Afghanistan, news items are coded as positive, negative and neutral. Length of every news item is checked to know further that how much prominence is given to different types of news. According to the emergent criteria among the selected news items, we have set the standard for length of news items which are coded according to the total number of words. News reports of 100 to 250 words as short, 251 to 500 words as medium and news items having more than 500 words are considered long news.

 

Limitation of Study

The research which is based on the topic (Comparative analysis on Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and United States/Its Impact on Regional Peace and Security) in the liht of media has some limitations as following:

·         Unavailability of enough relevant data

·         Unavailability of enough resources to travel for conducting interviews with relevant people and stakeholders 

 

Outline/Organization of Study

After too much delay, new elected Afghan government and United States of America sign Bilateral Security Agreement in September 30, 2014 in presidential palace Kabul where Afghan National Security Adviser M. Hanif Atmar and American ambassador James Cunningham inked the agreement which allow American Troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2015 combat mission and the agreement was elaborated in the light of media.

There some important points in the agreement which is necessary to understand, first 9,800 US troops can remain in Afghanistan after 2015, second immunity given to US troops from afghan jurisdiction which was the matter of controversy in the agreement third, US troops will train, advice and equipped Afghan National Security Forces….

United State pledged that they will train, advice and equipped Afghan National Security Forces to deter any internal and external threat against its sovereignty, territorial integrity and

independence and sustain afghan forces and financed to rebuild Afghan Air force…….

Afghanistan has border with power full nuclear countries Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia

(Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) which are under the Russian political hegemony and as well as with China. Iran and Russia from the day first accused American role in Afghanistan and they believed that USA has long range objective in the region and seek permanent presence which is threat for us….

The media results indicate that media has given positive coverage to bilateral security agreement and some time is critical toward the agreement.

Main focus of the study was to see the attitude of the media of Afghanistan and examine that whether it is promoting the positive news or not. Some media sites are found to give positive and favorable coverage on bilateral agreement but in the second hand some sites are found to give more critical coverage on an agreement.

Afghanistan and United States signed Bilateral Security Agreement after a long delay in September 30, 2014 which allows 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after December 31, 2015 till 2024. According to the agreement immunity was given to US troops from afghan jurisdiction and US troops cannot enter into Afghan’s houses and other holy sites in the country.

US troops will train, advice and equipped Afghan National Security Forces and support them in air strike against militants and support in war against terrorism which is threat for region and whole world. But the response or reaction of regional countries particularly Iran and Russia was against Bilateral Security Agreement and strongly condemn this joint step of both Countries.

The media results indicate that media has given positive coverage to bilateral security agreement and some time is critical toward the agreement.

Main focus of the study was to see the attitude of the media of Afghanistan and examine that whether it is promoting the positive news or not. Some media sites are found to give positive and favorable coverage on bilateral agreement but in the second hand some sites are found to give more critical coverage on an agreement.

·         United States should implement that they will not use afghan soil against the neighboring countries

·         United States should improve the capabilities of Afghan National Security Forces

·         United States as Afghan government hope to support peace process with Taliban

·         Afghan government should focus on reconciliation than war

·         Afghan government should improve ties with neighboring countries for cooperation against terrorism and insurgencies

 

 

 

 

 


https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/afghanistan-the-united-states-and-the-bsa-who-blinks-first/

http://mfa.gov.af/en/news/bsa

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5380.htm

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/197026

https://prezi.com/crvnlazmd1zx/copy-of-the-bilateral-security-agreement-between-the-united- states-o/

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http://www.ipcs.org/article/us-south-asia/us-afghanistan-implications-of-the-bilateral-security- agreement-bsa-4293.html

(Vincent Ferraro, "Dependency Theory: An Introduction," in The Development Economics Reader, ed. Giorgio Secondi (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 58-64) https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/depend.htm

https://www.Afghanistan time/news/website/article/Key Points In U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement/September 30, 2014 14:14 GMT/Charles Recknagel

version of this article appears in print on October 1, 2014, on Page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: Mending Alliance, U.S. and Afghanistan Sign Long-Term Security Agreement. https://www.New York Time/Article/

https://www.VOV/news/article/ September 30, 2014 11:06 AM/Ayaz Gul

https://www.kabul/time/news/article.

https://www.pashto/Tand/article

Published online: 12 Dec 2010 https://doi.org/10.1080/14616700412331296419/article/Journalists as peacekeeping force? /Thomas Hanitzsch/Pages 483-495