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Afghan legal system not conducive to prisoner transfer: Pentagon

Afghan legal system not conducive to prisoner transfer: Pentagon

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Feb 29, 2012 - 14:36

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan legal system is not strong enough to allow the transfer of prisoners from US custody to Afghan control, top Pentagon officials told lawmakers on Tuesday.

“That's trouble,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing. He was answering senators’ queries about the Afghan government’s demand for prisons control.

“Do you agree with me, Gen. Dempsey, if we release these prisoners to the Afghan legal system as it exists today, a lot of them would go back out on the streets and try to kill Americans?” Senator Lindsey Graham asked.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the military strategy of night raids had produced good results in Afghanistaninfo-icon. He agreed with Graham that the raids had been reformed and the Afghans are more in the lead than ever.

Panetta said from the military point of view, the operations needed to continue.  The US was still in a tough fight in Afghanistan, the defense secretary added.

“But 2011 did mark significant progress in trying to reduce violence and transitioning to an Afghan-led responsibility. And we and our NATOinfo-icon allies have made a strong commitment to continue this transition through the end of 2014,” he concluded.

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