Afghans to have 'oversight' of night-time raids by US military
Whatever makes Karzai happy...
The U.S. and Afghan governments signed an agreement Sunday on the conduct of overnight raids in Afghanistan, according to media reports.
Under the agreement, Kabul would have oversight of night-time raids, with operations subject to an initial review by an Afghan panel composed of military and intelligence officials.
"Today we are one step closer to the establishment of a strategic partnership," Allen said, according to reports.
American commanders would be consulted before any decision on an operation, but reports said it was unclear if an American officer would have a seat on the oversight panel.
The agreement is a welcome development for the Obama administration which feared talks over the contentious issue of night-time raids would derail efforts to craft a long-term deal governing the American mission in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai had stepped up calls for the raids, which are unpopular with much of the Afghan public, to end after a series of missteps raised tensions between Washington and Kabul.
In March, a rogue U.S. army staff sergeant was charged with the murder of 17 Afghan civilians. That incident followed a wave of violence in February after the accidental burning of Qurans on a NATO airbase.
By the time the Afghans decide to give the go ahead for these raids, it will be morning, two days later. An exaggeration, yes, but one wonders on what basis they will be making their decisions and whether there is a time frame built into the agreement. Obviously, actionable intelligence will become next to useless as the US military will be forced to seek permission to do their jobs. The nature of such a panel will preclude fast action. In fact, the panel is designed to slow the process down.
It hardly matters at this point. The fewer Americans who die between now and when we depart, the better.