US May Change Afghan Night Raid Policy to Secure Long-Term Deal

Gen. Allen Downplays Chances of Afghan Drawdown Before Elections

The Obama Administration’s efforts to secure a long-term deal on the Afghan occupation have slowed in recent months, and the massive sentiment against the US since the Quran burnings and the Kandahar massacre haven’t helped matters.

In an attempt to finalize the pact, the administration is said to be considering changes to night raid policy, the last sticking point in the deal. President Obama might concede that there would be some sort of warrant system before raids on civilian homes, and might even let Afghan judges “review” those warrants.

This is a far cry from what President Karzai has wanted, which is “no raids on civilian homes,” but is the first time any concessions at all have even been hinted at, suggesting the president is desperate to secure an agreement to permit US troops to stay through 2024.

The anti-US backlash at recent incidents has had some predicting that the US could be forced from the country in a matter of weeks at this rate. This is obviously something President Obama, who has made escalating the 11-year-long occupation the centerpiece of his foreign policy, is desperate to avoid.

Gen. Allen, the US commander in charge of the occupation, doesn’t seem phased by that possibility, however, saying that the war is “on track” and that there would be no drawdowns of the size of the force even considered until after the 2012 election. He also added it was far too early to reduce the size of the force in southern Afghanistan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.