- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A ban on night raids in Afghanistan has been lifted by Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani. His predecessor, Hamid Karzai, forbid Afghan National Army Special Forces units from conducting the raids in 2013.

Mr. Ghani’s decision will be welcome news to President Obama since the U.S. will continue to have troops present in the country in 2015.

Two Afghan army generals told The New York Times that they welcomed the new rules of engagement, the newspaper reported Sunday.

“We need strong backing of foreign forces during night raids, the helicopters and night vision goggles, GPS equipment, and better guidance,” Maj. Gen. Abdul Hameed, commander of the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps in Kandahar, told The Times. “Now we have noticed free movement of the Taliban, they are moving around at night and passing messages and recruiting people for fighting, and the only solution to stop their movement is night raids.”

A Western military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that Afghan forces would take the lead on any future night raids.

“Night operations are something the Afghans will be doing in a much more targeted way, the way they were trained to do but were held back under Karzai,” the official said, The Times reported. “We’re not going to be doing that, but there are going to be training missions with advisers along. They are not going to go onto the target with the Afghans, but they may go along in some cases and stay back.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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