US military condemns Afghan government’s release of 65 ‘dangerous individuals’

The Afghan government has gone through with its plans to release of 65 of the 88 prisoners the US military has identified as “dangerous individuals.” United States Forces-Afghanistan issued an unusually strongly-worded objection to the release of the 65 detainees. The full text of the USFOR-A statement is below:

United States Forces-Afghanistan has learned that 65 dangerous individuals from a group of 88 detainees under dispute have been ordered released from the Afghan National Detention Facility at Parwan.

The U.S. has, on several occasions, provided extensive information and evidence on each of the 88 detainees to the Afghan Review Board, the Afghan National Directorate of Security and the Attorney General’s office.

This release violates agreements between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

We have made clear our judgment that these individuals should be prosecuted under Afghan law. We requested that the cases be carefully reviewed. But the evidence against them was never seriously considered, including by the Attorney General, given the short time since the decision was made to transfer these cases to the Afghan legal system.

The release of 65 detainees is a legitimate force protection concern for the lives of both coalition troops and Afghan National Security Forces. The primary weapon of choice for these individuals is the improvised explosive device, widely recognized as the primary cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

The release of these detainees is a major step backward for the rule of law in Afghanistan. Some previously-released individuals have already returned to the fight, and this subsequent release will allow dangerous insurgents back into Afghan cities and villages.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News, the 65 cases are now closed after having been cleared by an Afghan Attorney General Office team, and investigations of the remaining 23 detainees by the AGO are currently underway.

Seven of those freed may have been involved in the green-on-blue, or insider attacks that have resulted in the deaths of Coalition personnel.

Now that the “65 dangerous individuals” have been released, the US government should publish the names of those freed and the charges against them.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Scott J says:

    This is outrageous conduct, and we all know that this is Karzai’s doing.
    I think the time has come to more openly regard him as a hostile entity. While contacts in the Afghan military and other government departments should be maintained on a friendly basis, we should just cut communication with Karzai to all but the most essential matters, which, frankly, is almost nothing.
    We just need to wait him out. What is it? A few months?
    If the next president of Afghanistan wishes to turn this around, then great – we continue forward. If the next president wishes to continue down this path Karzai is taking, we take everything out as fast as we can, including all financial support.
    After Karzai is out of office, he should be persona non grata in any NATO or western nation. Let him stay in Afghanistan.
    I really think this man has a severe and progressively worsening personality disorder at best, and perhaps some sort of mental illness he’s succumbing to.
    But whatever the case, this action should be the final straw in our relations with him. Time to write him off, cut off communication, and remove any pretense of friendship or respect. He doesn’t deserve it.

  • Paul D says:

    Why is Karzai playing up now that he is leaving office?Was he pushed?
    You would think he would help the US as he probably wants to live back there after the elections for his own safety?
    Maybe he has been told he has to live in Afghan going forward so is looking to his enemies for self preservation?

  • FAS3 says:

    Sadly, this comes as no surprise Karzai and company would make this move. This is one unfortunate circumstance of the US adhering to a correct code of conduct during warfare. Not taking prisoners alive allowing them the chance to return to the battlefield would be ideal but hey were not Russia, so what can you do? I can only hope that Karzai will meet his demise to a roadside bomb planted by one of the same individuals he released or better yet is captured and beheaded by the Taliban he is courting. Reap what you sow.

  • wallbangr says:

    @Scott J: I think we pretty much have cut off communications with Karzai. At least at a high level. Obama hasn’t talked to him in a very long time and he is already seen by most in NATO as persona non grata. Mental illness or drug abuse are some of the leading theories for his behavior. Could just be ego and the pressure of being the American “puppet” for so long. I personally hope he goes the way of Ngo Din Diem rather than a Ferdinand Marcos. But that’s assuming the Taliban don’t get to him first. As a few others here have stated, if he thinks these moves to spite the Americans is going to curry him any favor with the Taliban, he is even more out of touch with reality (or high) than previously thought


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