Webb: Security pacts with Afghanistan should require congressional approval

Any long-term security accord the White House might pursue with the Afghanistan government should be subject to congressional approval, said Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.).

Webb’s office issued a statement Thursday evening pushing the idea. That same statement noted the senator introduced legislation in 2008 that required the Bush administration’s “status of forces agreement” and a companion “strategic framework agreement” with the Iraqi government be approved by lawmakers.

“Under the ‘strategic partnership’ declaration currently being negotiated with the Karzai government, Afghanistan would receive billions of dollars in long-term development and security assistance from the U.S., potentially including permanent military bases,” the statement said. “Karzai recently said he would likely call a loya jirga [grand assembly] to evaluate a renewal of the partnership. However, the Obama administration has not indicated it will seek similar consent from Congress.”

“I hope we will get a chance to examine this,” Webb told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday, referring to agreements with Kabul. “We need to be talking about what our long-term relationship in Afghanistan should look like before this agreement goes into place.”