Monday, December 26, 2011

Afghanistan: Karzai wants night raids and house searches to stop

 After a report looking into civilian casualties caused by NATO air strikes and night raids Karzai has again asked for both to stop. He has been complaining about these raids and demanding they cease for ages now but without significant results. After all, Afghanistan is occupied and not a sovereign country.
    However, Karzai does have some leverage. He has said he will not sign an agreement allowing NATO forces to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 unless the raids stop. In 2014 troops are supposed to turn over security to Afghans but now it seems that NATO troops may stay for up to a decade later. No one asks the Afghans or Americans if this is what they want. This is all to be negotiated between NATO officials and their rather testy puppet Karzai.
     NATO has insisted that the raids will continue but that they will involve Afghan forces more. Most of these raids are by special forces usually U.S. special forces. NATO insists that there are few casualties and that usually there is not even a shot fired. However, the report of the Karzai government cited numerous examples of civilian casualties including the pregnant wife of a local anti-drugs chief. Even when no shots are fired locals are not happy about home invasions in the middle of the night!
    Of course the vast majority of civilian deaths are the result of insurgent activity. However, Karzai has little control over those killings. It seems he has little control over those caused by the forces that are supposed to be providing security for Afghans either. For more see this article.

No comments: