Afghanistan’s Consultative Loya Jirga

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, a council of roughly 3,000[1] Afghan tribal elders, civic leaders and other prominent figures gathered to debate the draft bilateral security agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States. The council, referred to as a loya jirga (which means “grand council” in Pashto), was called by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss and advise on the terms of the security pact.  By the end of the four-day convention, the vast majority of the Jirga voted <Read More>


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>