US-Afghan Night Raids Agreement Will Be Ignored

John Glaser, April 10, 2012

In order to agree on a security arrangement governing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan post-2014, Kabul has essentially forced the Obama administration to concede two vital sticking points. First, control of Afghan prisons needed to be relinquished to the Kabul government. It was. Second, the U.S. either needed to stop all night raids or, as a compromise, let the Afghan government be in charge of them an have veto-power. That has also happened.

At least officially

Under that memorandum of understanding, Kabul would have oversight of night-time raids.

But Kirby said Afghan President Hamid Karzai will not hold “a veto” over future U.S. special operations missions conducted in Southwest Asia.

The deal requires US and Afghan forces to obtain a warrant from an Afghan panel composed of military and intelligence officials before carrying out a night raid.

…”In practical terms, not much has changed,” [Pentagon spokesman Capt. John] Kirby told reporters.

Night raids are one of the most hated aspects of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, fueling resentment and often ending with the killing or arrest of innocents. The memo decrees the U.S. get a warrant from an Afghan judge and grants the Kabul government veto power over the American wishes to conduct a night raid. The Pentagon openly says nothing has changed because they will ignore this binding agreement. If only I could feign surprise…