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US offers to cede some control over controversial Afghan night raids

Washington, Tue, 20 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, Mar 20 (ANI): The United States has offered to cede some control over its night time missions into Afghan village homes, American officials have said.


According to one US official, the Obama administration's most significant proposed concession on night raids would subject the operations to advance review by Afghan judges.


One option under discussion in U.S.-Afghan talks would require warrants to be issued before operations get the green light, The Wall Street Journal reports.


According to the paper, US officials said they are not sure if the proposed concessions will satisfy Afghan President Hamid Karzai, especially after the shooting rampage and other incidents in which U.S. service members urinated on Taliban corpses and burned Qurans.


A senior US military official said a shift to a warrant-based approach to the raids was meant to address Karzai's demands for the U.S. to respect Afghan sovereignty.


According to the paper, officials compared the proposed changes to the transition in Iraq, where in 2009 the U.S. agreed to seek legal approval before targeted raids.


"The idea is to start to transition not only to an Afghan lead, but to more of a law-enforcement approach. It's very much in keeping with the rule of law that any sovereign nation ought to have," the paper quoted an official, as saying.


U.S. officials have said they are working to have almost all night raids led by Afghan troops, part of a hand-over of security responsibility to the Afghans, now due to assume the combat lead in 2013.


Officials said the shift should be done gradually as Afghan personnel become better trained. (ANI)


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