The so-called “keystone deal” between the US and Afghanistan, one that would cover the details of the US occupation for years and possibly decades to come, is no closer to being signed now than it was weeks ago, and officials are now saying the deal, which they hoped would be finalized by a December conference in Germany, might not be ready until May 2012.
The issue holding it up is an old one: night raids. The Afghan government has been demanding the US curb the practice of launching raids on civilian homes in the middle of the night, noting the many, many occasions in which this has ended with a large number of innocent civilains slain.
But as they have been doing for years, the US is shrugging off complaints about the practice, insisting they won’t allow their desire to reach a “deal” with the Karzai government to limit their tactics in the ongoing war.
Recent reports have suggested that the night raids are an enormous problem, with more than a dozen occurring every night and civilians increasingly resentful of the heavy-handed treatment they receive at the hands of attacking forces.
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