Legal for U.S. Special Operators to Raid Afghan Homes
Night raids upon homes in Afghanistan won't always need approval.
The Army's U.S. Special Operations Forces will still conduct night raids on Afghan homes — sometimes without the prior approval of the Afghan government.
Since December, 350 night raids have been conducted -- all of them joint operations with Afghan commandos. The teams found their man in 75 percent of the missions, and only fired a shot during 31 night raids, according to Kirby.
This past weekend, the U.S. and Afghanistan signed an agreement placing restrictions on those raids, a goal of President Hamid Karzai. The terms of the agreement had put the special operation missions on hold before the raids could go forward. Technically, the raids require an Afghan judicial panel to issue a warrant before a raid, but one should be sought soon after in any case.
First, the restrictions only apply to missions where there’s a reasonable chance of taking Afghans prisoner or “search[ing] a residential house or compound,” Navy Cmdr. John Kirby, a Kabul-based military spokesman, told reporters on Monday.
Even raids on Afghan homes don’t always require an Afghan warrant ahead of time.
In some cases, the U.S. believes night raids can go forward before Afghan judges approve them.
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