'Strategic (Macro) Level Engagement' - Macleans.ca

‘Strategic (Macro) Level Engagement’

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Canadian Press gains access to internal documents and finds talking points, expressed concerns and wrangling over contingencies.

As the winter of 2006-07 settled in, Canadian officials began to hear abuse concerns from more than just the Red Cross. British and Dutch forces, who followed the Canadians into southern Afghanistan, were “deeply frustrated” even though their agreements with Kabul allowed them more access to prisoners.

“UK/Dutch pol/mil colleagues lament that they are unable to track their detainees,” said a Dec. 4, 2006, memo viewed by The Canadian Press. “It is unclear whether they are tortured, held beyond legal limits, or (all too frequently) released back to battlefield.”

The Allies were worried “the detainee issue could explode at any moment into a political firestorm.”