The negotiations over the conduct of the NATO occupation of Afghanistan now and in the years to come in become increasingly public, and ugly, as unnamed US and British officials are complaining to the media, accusing Karzai of “endangering the troops” by pushing for a ban on night raids of Afghan homes.
The US has been in tense negotiations with Karzai over the “post-transition” occupation, from 2014 beyond, and while they have agreed to hand over control of the prisons in 2014, the night raids remain unsettled, with US officials complaining that Karzai is “not making any compromises.”
Night raids have been a major issue for Afghans, as NATO raids have killed massive numbers of civilians, and bungled coverups trying to blame others for the deaths. NATO has repeatedly ruled out ending the night raids, despite Karzai’s demands.
Analysts see the effort as a cynical political move by Karzai, but this only reflects the reality that night raids on civilian homes are uniformly unpopular and opposing them is a winning issue in Afghanistan.
Though officials say that calling for the ban harms the “strategic partnership” with Afghanistan what they really mean is that the only thing the Afghan public sincerely wants more than anything, security from attack in their own homes, is too much to ask. NATO may be willing to hand over nominal control to some regime that exists primarily at their pleasure, but without this ban the average Afghan will still remain under the worst kind of occupation for years to come.
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