In a report published online on March 11, Jason Ditz, research editor at Antiwar.com, used the strained meeting on Monday between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as the backdrop to assert that the U.S. occupation of the war-torn nation “is flying apart at the seams, with insider attacks and popular opposition once again on the rise.”
Among the recent incidents that Ditz says have damaged the credible execution of the war effort are the public statement by Afghan university student Abdul Qayum on March 10 that he was kidnapped and tortured by an apparent CIA strike force; and protests held in Wardak Province on March 10 directed against U.S. Special Forces who have ignored a deadline to withdraw from the province after locals alleged that the troops engaged in a campaign of violent intimidation against them, attacking villages, beating locals, and detaining them without charges.
Ditz also addressed the U.S. policy of canceling the transfer of detainees at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, a U.S.-run prison located next to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan’s Parwan Province.
The ceremony and the transfer of the last of nearly 4,000 Afghan prisoners from American to Afghan custody was called off by the American military commander, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., at the last minute late Friday after President Hamid Karzai the day before rejected several important provisions in the transfer agreement.
The impasse was an embarrassment to both allies and came during the first official visit to the country by the new defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, who arrived Friday as officials scrambled to respond to Mr. Karzai’s objections. As recently as Jan. 11, at a news conference with President Obama in Washington, Mr. Karzai had said the issue of detention had been solved finally and that the transfer would occur soon.
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan