Interesting story in the WaPo:
The Bush administration is negotiating the transfer of nearly 70 percent of the detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to three countries as part of a plan, officials said, to share the burden of keeping suspected terrorists behind bars.
U.S. officials announced yesterday that they have reached an agreement with the government of Afghanistan to transfer most of its nationals to Kabul’s “exclusive” control and custody. There are 110 Afghan detainees at Guantanamo and 350 more at the Bagram airfield near Kabul. Their transfers could begin in the next six months.
Pierre-Richard Prosper, ambassador at large for war crimes, who led a U.S. delegation to the Middle East this week, said similar agreements are being pursued with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, whose nationals make up a significant percentage of the Guantanamo population. Prosper held talks in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Monday, but negotiations were cut off after the announcement of King Fahd’s death.
The decision to move more than 20 percent of the detainees at Guantanamo to Afghanistan and to largely clear out the detention center at Bagram is part of a broader plan to significantly reduce the population of “enemy combatants” in U.S. custody. Senior U.S. officials said yesterday’s agreement is the first major step toward whittling down the Guantanamo population to a core group of people the United States expects to hold indefinitely.
I wonder if US forces will be at all involved in their detainment in Afghanistan. I also wonder how long this has been in the works.