Paradigm shift in night raids, says Pentagon
WASHINGTON (PAN): There is a paradigm shift in how night operations would be conducted in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Monday, a day after Washington and Kabul inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the issue.
“This is a fundamental paradigm shift in how these operations are being conducted,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby told reporters during a conference call from Kabul.
The MoU codifies what is happening in the country, as the Afghans are assuming more and more control of their security, Kirby said.
“If I had to add something that was more formal now than it was before, it is that these will now all be conducted under the rubric of Afghan law and in accordance with the Afghan constitution,” he said in response to a question.
Under the Afghan constitution, he said, specifically Article 38 does allow for warrantless search and detention of individuals that are deemed an immediate threat.
“So theoretically, these operations can still go forward without a warrant in advance, but it does have to be pursued as soon as practical afterward. In fact, our understanding of the Afghan constitution and Afghan law is within 48 hours,” he added.
Kirby said both parties understand the importance of these operations and on doing them as quickly, as there is actionable intelligence to do them.
“But they do have to be authorised in a judicial process. And that's something that again the Afghan leaders will be working out,” he said.
“It's very clear in the MoU that the Afghans have the responsibility for establishing these judicial prosecutorial and investigative mechanisms in order to issue and secure judicial authorisations to conduct these operations.
“And again, it's all under Afghan law and in keeping with their constitution, and that's in this MOU. That's their commitment to work that out,” the Pentagon spokesman said in response to a question.
Under the current arrangement, he said, it is his understanding of Afghan law and the constitution that raids can be conducted without a warrant.
“But again, that warrant, that judicial authorisation, still needs to be pursued. That is, it's one of the things that the Afghan government was very insistent on. And frankly we believe that's commendable, that they be conducted in accordance with Afghan law,” he said.
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