Afghan officials told the Post that 14 to 16 night operations have been rejected by the Afghans in the past two months.
“The U.S. has said, ‘This operation better be conducted. It’s a high-value target,’ ” Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the top Afghan army officer, told the Post. “Then my people said, ‘It’s a high-value target. I agree with you. But there are so many civilian children and women [in the area].’ ”
Karimi said that many of the rejected operations were later conducted when civilians were not near the intended targets.
The refusals follow a directive from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, issued one day after signing the strategic partnership agreement with Obama, where he said that Afghan soldiers should not follow questionable intelligence from U.S. officials, according to the Post.
“If you have any doubt about an American intelligence report, do not conduct any operation based on it,” Karzai said.
Control over night raids and detention facilities in Afghanistan were two of the biggest sticking points before the partnership agreement — which establishes the possibility of a U.S. presence in Afghanistan through 2024 — could be signed.
The United States agreed to give control of detention facilities to Afghans and for them to have the final say on night raids.
The agreements were part of the NATO effort to transition control of security forces to the Afghans by the end of 2014. President Obama has said that Afghans should take the lead in combat operations next year.