What Specific Security Assurances Does the Obama Administration Want?

Persons detained by the U.S. at the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), also known as Bagram, may pose a continuing threat to our security. But the nature of that threat, and how the U.S. plans to mitigate it past 2014, are unknown. Before the U.S. repatriates detainees, it requires security assurances from the host nation. The specifics of the security assurances are largely unknown, and likely changing. But they may be a deciding factor in determining whether the U.S. is <Read More>


US Detainee Transfers: What Responsibilities Does the US Have When Presented with the Risk of Torture in Afghan Prisons?

As recently reported by Mike Yang Zhang,[1] a United Nations report released on January 20, 2013 revealed “systematic torture” in many Afghan-controlled detention facilities.[2] Shortly after the U.N. report was released, a delegation was assigned by President Karzai to investigate the allegations of torture.[3] After a two-week investigation, the government panel “acknowledged widespread torture of detainees.”[4] The U.N. report proposed recommendations for eliminating these instances of torture, not only to the government of Afghanistan, but also to “Troop Contributing Countries.”[5] <Read More>


Immunity for U.S. Troops and Detention in Afghanistan

The ongoing negotiations between the United States and Afghanistan regarding the future U.S. military presence in Afghanistan revolve around the crucial issue of immunity of American soldiers from prosecution.[1] The issue of immunity actually stems back directly to the March 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),[2] an agreement that required the United States to transfer its Afghan detainees to the control of the government of Afghanistan.

The issue of immunity has been historically important to the U.S. military. Traditionally, the U.S. negotiates <Read More>


Systematic Torture Continuing in Afghanistan

According to a United Nations report released on January 20, 2013, systematic torture remains a serious concern in many Afghan-controlled detention facilities, despite “concerted efforts” and “sustained support” by international partners and the Afghan Government to “root out torture and abusive detention practices.”[1]

The 139-page report, compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), finds that “more than half of 635 detainees interviewed (326 detainees) experienced torture and ill-treatment in numerous facilities of the <Read More>


Afghanistan and the United States Struggle over Releases of Detainees

After control of much of the Bagram detention center was handed over to Afghanistan in 2012, President Karzai “ordered authorities to review the cases of more than 3,000 prisoners” held at Bagram.[1]  In the course of 2012, “570 detainees have been released after acquittal in Afghan courts.”[2]  Nearly 1,000 prisoners have been released in 2012 overall, including prisoners whose cases never reached the Afghan courts.[3] This post analyzes the factors underlying these releases, and reports on the latest developments in <Read More>