Chalk it up to Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General John Allen–our dynamic duo in Kabul. They can get results even in the most unpromising circumstances.
Recently, they completed a deal to transfer custody of the main U.S. detention facility to Afghan control while maintaining American oversight and an American veto on any prisoner releases. Now they appear to be on the verge of concluding an agreement that would allow “night raids”–heavily criticized by President Hamid Karzai for their supposed infringement on Afghan sovereignty–to continue with only mild modifications. Afghan judges will be required to approve the raids but their approval apparently will be obtainable after the fact–which means that the secrecy essential for these operations will not be compromised.
Assuming the deal is sealed, this will be an important victory that will allow coalition forces to continue employing one of their most effective counter-terrorist tools while still giving the appearance of respecting Afghan sovereignty.