Days before the so-called bi-lateral security agreement heads to an Afghan council of elders and political leaders for a final decision, the U.S. is attempting to force through a stipulation that would allow U.S. troops to continue raiding Afghan homes, in addition to measures giving U.S. troops and contractors immunity from Afghan law and extending U.S. military presence far beyond Obama's 2014 pullout date.
Critics charge that the U.S. is giving itself the green light for open-ended occupation at the expense of the Afghan people. "Occupation is not defined by how many occupiers are policing someplace," said Kimber Heinz of the War Resisters League in an interview with Common Dreams. "If you reduce the amount of occupation forces but keep them there forever, then the occupation continues and the war on people's everyday lives is not actually over — no matter what the US government or mainstream media tells us."
The U.S. is pushing for the right to enter Afghan homes over the initial objection of Afghan negotiators. The New York Times reports that President Hamid Karzai's spokesperson, Aimal Faizi, announced Tuesday that Karzai would allow U.S. home raids in "extraordinary circumstances." He said this was in exchange for an agreement from President Obama to issue a letter apologizing for mistakes in Afghanistan.
This latest development follows attempts on the part of U.S. negotiators to ram through immunity for U.S. troops and independent contractors from Afghan law. According to The Washington Post, the U.S. appears to have succeeded in including this immunity in a previously-circulated draft of the agreement.