Officials Retain Effective Control Over Detainees in 'Afghan Custody'
The US has made much of its transfer of the detainees at Parwan Detention Facility to Afghan government control. This, as with so many other “transition” moves, has been hyped as enormously significant, but in reality is superficial.
For the detainees, nothing has really changed. They’re still stuck on a US military base, with their “administrative detention” nominally under Afghan control, but access to them is still strictly controlled and the Afghan general running the facility is hopeful for future influence, but still mostly a figurehead.
Even though the transition agreement puts him theoretically in total charge, the Afghan general himself is not much better off than the detainees on site, his cellphone is seized when he arrives at the facility (by US military officials), and even his access to interviewers is controlled from the Pentagon.
Such issues are likely to continue to grow, as US officials try to change the narrative of occupied Afghanistan to an “ended” war with a massive and coincidental military presence, while at the same time retaining all of the control in everything but name.
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