Entries in Transition (5)


Afghanistan Taking Control of Major Prison Run by US

Kevin Horan/Stone(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The U.S. and Afghanistan seem headed for another serious setback in their relations as an Afghan three-star general is poised to assume control of Bagram prison from the American military.

Gen. Ghulam Farooq Barekzai, a former top official with the Defense Ministry, has been named to run the detention center that holds at least 3,200 inmates.

The U.S. agreed last month to allow Afghanistan to run the prison after Kabul argued that it was a violation of its national sovereignty to have prisoners detained indefinitely by foreign guards.

What is disturbing to Washington and the Pentagon is that the U.S. will have no veto power over which prisoners are released, many of whom are mid-to-high level Taliban militants.

It's expected that if these detainees are set free, they'll return to the battlefield to fight against coalition and Afghan forces.

At best, the Afghans will permit American officials to have what is termed a "consultative role" to express concerns about certain detainees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Transition to Begin Sunday

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- This weekend, the U.S. will officially begin to transition control to Afghanistan starting with four cities and three provinces. Herat City in the West, Mazar-i-Sharif in the North, Lashkar Gah in the South and Mehterlam in the East will be among the first cities to transition control.  The U.S. will also hand over control to Bamiyan and Panjshir -- two of Afghanistan's safest provinces -- as well as Kabul.

Aides to Afghan President Hamid Karzai believe transition in Meterlam, which will gain Afghan control July 19, will prove to be the most challenging case. These days the city is relatively safe, but beneath the surface one may find the immense challenges the Afghans will face in confronting security issues increasingly on their own.
Police are currently in charge of security, but only a few dozen patrol the city. They are also badly equipped with some wearing only sandals, and none with armor. And instead of IEDs or complex attacks in the city, the Taliban issue personal threats against judges, politicians and people who work with the coalition.

The U.S. will begin transitioning control Sunday.

Copyright 2011 ABC news Radio


Afghan Transition Begins in July, But Will Take 12-18 Months

Dept. of Defense photo by Pfc. Jorge A. Ortiz, U.S. Marine Corps. (SEATTLE) -- Sometime in late July, NATO will transition to Afghan forces the security responsibility for seven regions in Afghanistan that make up 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population.   But now it sounds like that transition is going to happen over a longer period of time.   
Lt. Gen. Dave Rodriguez said Thursday in an interview with the Seattle Times that the transition in the seven areas will last for about 12 to 18 months.
Rodriguez is in Ft. Lewis, outside of Seattle, to meet with Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti who will replace him in a few months as the day-to-day commander of the war in Afghanistan.
The Karzai government announced in late March that the cities of Herat, Kabul, Mazar e Sharif, Lashkar Gah, Mehtalam and the provinces of Bamyan and Panjshir would be the first to transition to Afghan security.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clinton Meets with Afghan Leader Ahead of Obama's Arrival

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Getty Images(LISBON, Portugal) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an hour at his hotel Friday morning in Lisbon. Sources tell ABC News that Karzai agreed to the NATO transition plan that will be approved by the group this weekend.

The meeting was described by a U.S. official as "a candid and friendly conversation that covered the key subjects of our mission in Afghanistan -- including transition, ongoing military operations, training of security forces, civilian assistance, and regional dynamics."

A Clinton aide says Clinton and Karzai "reached a common understanding on the summit declaration and the Afghanistan NATO partnership framework."

Clinton traveled to Lisbon ahead of President Obama's arrival Friday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan 2.0: A Look Ahead at Transition

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PARWAN, Afghanistan) -- President Obama will attend the NATO leaders summit next week in Lisbon, Portugal that will likely set 2014 as the target date for NATO to hand over security responsibilities to the Afghan government. However, summit attendees are also likely to approve a timetable that will start that process next spring by turning over the most secure districts and provinces to Afghan control.  ABC News has heard about some of the most likely candidates: Herat Province to the west, Subori District north of Kabul and the central provinces of Bamyan and Panjshir. At the bottom of the list: Kandahar and Helmand.

On Wednesday, insights into the extremely stable security situation in Bamyan, Panjshir and Parwan Provinces in central Afghanistan were revealed. It seems that the security transition has already occurred in all but name in Bamyan and Panjshir provinces. The security situation is so stable there that the U.S. Army task force responsible for security there has no combat forces working in the two provinces. In fact, the only U.S. military presence there is the 50 personnel at the physical readiness trainings and dozens of embedded trainers. The only reason there is a combat battalion in Parwan Province is because the task force is responsible for security at Bagram Air Base, which is located in the province. The three provinces are so secure that there are no Afghan Army troops there and the Afghan National Police that has the lead for security.  The reality on the ground in these provinces right now is the goal for the rest of the country by 2014.

Col. William Roy heads Task Force Wolverine which is nominally in charge of security for the three provinces.  In a videoconference Wednesday, he referred to the current situation in the three provinces as what the next phase of transition in Afghanistan will look like, where stable security allows for economic and political development.  It’s what he likes to call “Afghanistan 2.0."   Another reason Roy’s unit is a peek into the future: two of his battalions have been reassigned to other units in eastern Afghanistan and are engaged in heavy combat.  It’s the premise behind “thinning out” that’ll begin in July, 2011: as secure areas under U.S. control are transitioned, U.S. forces responsible for security will move to other areas where they’re still needed.

Because of the good security situation, Roy’s troops focus on economic development and governance.  He doesn’t think that a formal security transition will lead to a slideback in security.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio