Afghans Take Over Night Raids

Deal big step in returning operations control to Afghan authorities
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2012 2:10 AM CDT
Afghans Take Over Night Raids
US and NATO Command Gen. John Allen and Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak smile after signing an agreement ending US control over night raids in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

The US will end its deeply unpopular night raids in Afghanistan as part of a larger deal handing over special operations control to the Afghan military, reports the New York Times. The agreement puts Afghan forces in charge of night raids, and requires Afghan court warrants for raids. Usually, warrants will be required ahead of time, although in emergency situations—discovered through intelligence—authorities can obtain a warrant 72 hours later. Americans will no longer have the right to question detainees, although Afghan authorities will have the option of asking for US support.

Only a year ago, US officials objected to giving the Afghan government more military control, but mounting resistance to the US presence there has changed the diplomatic climate. “This is an important step in strengthening the sovereignty of Afghanistan,” said Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak. He noted that having Afghans in charge of the nighttime raids was “a national goal,” and “a wish of the Afghan people.” (More Afghanistan stories.)

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