(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
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN