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NYT on Continuing Effort to Transfer Afghanistan Detention Ops

Matthew Waxman
Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 7:47 PM
The New York Times has this piece about continuing U.S.

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The New York Times has this piece about continuing U.S. government efforts to transfer detention operations in Afghanistan to Afghan government control.  The piece does a good job of outlining the many obstacles -- political, operational, legal, diplomatic, technical, and others -- to getting this done.  It also highlights a tendency of President Karzai to demand urgent and complete Afghan detainee transfers to mollify domestic political audiences, and then to relax those demands when it turns out that the requirements of transferring detainees pose their own political difficulties for his government.  One point I'd add to this story is that many of these problems are not new: the two governments have been working on some more limited aspects of this transfer effort since 2005.

Matthew Waxman is a law professor at Columbia Law School, where he chairs the National Security Law Program. He also previously co-chaired the Cybersecurity Center at Columbia University's Data Science Institute, and he is Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served in senior policy positions at the State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council. After graduating from Yale Law School, he clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.

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