- Dancing Kim Jong-un video sparks North Korea fury
- Delta cancels all Israel flights over missile fear; US Airways also stops flight to Tel Aviv
- Philadelphia mosque leaders try to sever hand of accused thief
- NAACP: Detroit water shutoffs are racially motivated
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Big milestone for Britain’s little Prince George who turns 1
- Murphy: Israel must be wary of Hamas using civilian deaths for recruitment
- Royce: Putin recruiting ‘every skinhead and malcontent around Russia’
- Nancy Pelosi is adamant: Congress worked together when Bush was president
- ‘Slender Man’ stabbing victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous veteran
U.S., Afghan officials work on partnership deal
Question of the Day
Afghanistan’s government wants to control all special operations and night raids currently led by U.S. and NATO forces, but it will not demand that Americans involved in criminal activity be tried in Afghan courts.
U.S. and Afghan officials started negotiations Thursday in Kabul to reach an agreement on the issue of night raids, the last hurdle on the path to a U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government is “taking a magnifying glass” to the draft agreement.
NATO officials insist the night raids have disrupted terrorist networks, but Afghans say the raids are culturally insensitive and generate ill will toward the U.S.
Afghan officials, who spoke on background citing the sensitive nature of discussions, said they have not been taken into confidence by the U.S. or NATO forces conducting the night raids.
As a compromise, it has been proposed that judicial warrants be required from Afghan courts for night raids.
Afghan officials want to relegate U.S. and NATO forces to a supporting role, providing logistical assistance in the form of helicopters and intelligence. Afghan forces already have a lead role in about 60 percent of the raids.
Afghan officials also are seeking veto power on the raids if they consider the targets to be low-level terrorists or perceive a high risk of collateral damage.
The meetings in Kabul were “positive and constructive” and will continue Friday, said Janan Mosazai, a spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
Earlier this month, U.S. and Afghan officials signed an agreement transferring the U.S. detention facility at Bagram to the control of the Afghan Defense Ministry.
The negotiations are taking place amid deep anger in Afghanistan over recent incidents involving U.S. troops.
Mr. Karzai emphasized the importance of protecting his country’s sovereignty in a speech at the graduation ceremony for the Afghan military academy.
The Afghan president is very concerned about issues regarding sovereignty, said Ahmed Rashid, a prominent Pakistani journalist and author.
“He is very hurt, for example, that the Taliban call him a puppet of the Americans,” Mr. Rashid told an audience at the Brookings Institution.
The Taliban broke off exploratory peace talks with the U.S. last week over a delay by Washington to act on the militants’ demand that five high-value prisoners be released from the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Obamacare dealt massive setback by federal appeals court
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters' questions on book tour
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq