Afghans, US sign deal on night raids
The Afghan government and the U.S. signed a deal Sunday governing night raids by American troops, resolving an issue that had threatened to derail a larger pact governing a U.S. presence in the country for decades to come.
The raids were a constant source of tension between Kabul and Washington. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called repeatedly to stop the raids, saying that they are provocative when carried out by foreign troops. The U.S. military has said such operations are essential for capturing Taliban and al-Qaida commanders.
A resolution of this dispute is a key step toward finalizing a long-term “strategic partnership” to govern U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the majority of combat forces leave in 2014. The long-term pact is seen as important for assuring the Afghan people that they will not be abandoned by their international allies.