What might have been - Macleans.ca

What might have been

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Canadian Press delves into a proposed, but ultimately rejected, plan to put the Afghan army in charge of detainees.

NATO allies lobbied Afghan’s president for a separate legal framework to handle prisoners captured around Kandahar in late 2006 but those efforts “went nowhere,” say internal memos. The records outline an early strategy of the Canadian government as it faced pressure from the International Red Cross and others to take more responsibility for captured Taliban fighters…

The idea was to let the fledgling Afghan army operate a detention facility built by the U.S. rather than rely on either the National Directorate of Security or the country’s shaky correctional system. The proposal included a demand that Afghanistan create a separate legal framework for terror suspects, similar to the U.S. system of military tribunals. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was pressed to carve out “a new detainee policy that would have made the Afghan army responsible for prisoners and created a new class of detainees, but efforts have gone nowhere,” says a Dec. 4, 2006, memo.