Ghani Institutes Night Raids While Facing Treason Accusations Over Absence of Cabinet
Despite the rampant corruption of his administration and his many other faults, Hamid Karzai was a consistent critic of US-led night raids that led to many senseless civilian deaths, disappearances and torture. Those raids, and the US death squads that carried them out, were right at the top of the list of reasons Karzai refused to sign the BSA authorizing the continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan beyond the beginning of this year. Now that Ashraf Ghani has signed the BSA, the US has retained its right to “counterterrorism operations”, meaning that US-led night raids are still authorized despite Barack Obama’s declaration that combat operations have ended (while relying on a semantic sleight of hand in omitting that counterterrorism operations continue).
Ashraf Ghani seems to feel that US-led night raids are not enough, and so he called a meeting of Afhganistan’s National Security Council to authorize more night raids carried out by Afghan forces. Learning from Obama, Ghani has termed these raids “special military operations” rather than the unpopular night raids, but Khaama Press clearly knows that this is about night raids. Here is a partial screen capture of their article on the move, where we see that the chosen illustration for the story is a photo taken at night, showing forces wearing night vision equipment routinely employed in night raids:
Perhaps in a bit of a nod to Karzai’s previous objections to US-led night raids, the article notes:
The Afghan national security forces were instructed to take all necessary measures to respect the Islamic values, the Afghan culture, Afghan constitution and other laws of the country while executing a special military operation.
It’s hard to see how that instruction can be carried out, though, since the ANSF have been trained by US forces whose actions led to those very charges against them by Karzai. Even though Karzai forced the US to sign an “agreement” supposedly reforming US night raids in 2012, Karzai was still complaining about the US violating Afghan homes more than a year and a half later. Ghani is now authorizing these crimes to be committed by Afghan troops as well as US troops.
On a separate front, a number of Afghan Members of Parliament have declared that the failure of the Unity Government led by Ghani to establish a cabinet more than three months after assuming power rises to the level of a charge of treason. Ghani, however, appears to be shrugging off the charge.
With the idea of impeachment already in the air, Ghani’s move to institute night raids by Afghan forces might just provide a stronger basis for moving ahead with charges.
“With the idea of impeachment already in the air, Ghani’s move to institute night raids by Afghan forces might just provide a stronger basis for moving ahead with charges.”
It might just turn out to be a really efficient way of killing off opponents of the President to damp down enthusiasm for impeachment, or any other form of accountability.
quote:”The Afghan national security forces were instructed to take all necessary measures to respect the Islamic values, the Afghan culture, Afghan constitution and other laws of the country while executing a special military operation.”unquote
That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a month.
Excellent catch Jim.
These “commandos” from the north aren’t familiar with the southern Afghan villages so they need the help of the local tribal militias, which don’t have a great reputation. And according to Spocko the commandos might be in a bad mood as they kick in miscellaneous “insurgent” village doors at midnight.
The Defense Department has awarded $57.1 million in contracts to build and renovate a military base in Afghanistan for the country’s Special Operations troops, but the facility is still plagued with generators that do not work well, fueling points that are unused and a dining facility that is drastically overcrowded.
Meanwhile the US will make sure that Ghani doesn’t attempt a political settlement. That would lead to questions like: Why didn’t you do this ten years ago??
An excerpt from training going on in Iraq, where most troops are literate:
(excerpt from Stars & Stripes)
On a training ground, five Iraqi army recruits awkwardly gripping AK-47s approached a wooden building, kicking down a piece of a door that had been propped up in its entrance. Two U.S. trainers coached them on where to direct their weapons, while a few yards away, an American soldier banged a hammer against a metal pole to simulate the sound of enemy fire.
“There’s a bare minimum of equipment,” said Capt. John Cumbie, one of the U.S. trainers. He said that’s not necessarily because it doesn’t exist but because of the hurdles in getting weapons and gear to the right place, due to the complexity of the Iraqi bureaucracy and an underdeveloped logistics system. “It’s figuring out where all the stuff is. It exists somewhere in the system; it just has to get to us.”
At least 18th-century tribal-based Afghanistan doesn’t have a complex bureaucracy.
To solve the mess, we should pressure Ghani into accepting whatever patronage positions Abdullah wants. And then criticize him for corruption after he does it.
I see that the Afghan security forces have been trained well by the Americans, particularly when it comes to an American specialty: attacking wedding parties. Just last week the Afghan army attacked a wedding party in the Sangin district of Helmand province, which resulted in the deaths of at least 27 civilians and injuries to at least 50 additional people. The mortars raining down on these civilians may be a preview of what to expect once the Afghans begin performing night raids.