The above incident also has pronounced implications for a long term basing agreement with the U.S. that would keep a smaller number of American forces in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdraw deadline.
As part of the deal, the U.S. would be seeking immunity from the Afghan legal system for our troops. Given the recent protests over the Quran, and the potential firestorm over the recent civilian killings in Afghanistan, I don’t know how Harmid Karzai can accept such a deal or decline it.
If Harmid Karzai is a rational political actor, he will want to set himself up for a post-American Afghanistan. This means he has to take a hard-line against potentially criminal activity committed by American soldiers within the country to prevent a coup or assassination from the hardline elements in Afghan society.
Yet, Karzai is largely seen as a leader imposed by America, so he needs American support in order to retain the Presidency of Afghanistan. Failing to give American soldiers immunity could jeopardize this.