Afghanistan

Pentagon to Overhaul Prisons

The Pentagon will overhaul the American-run prison system in Afghanistan in addition to the jail and judicial systems because of worries that prison abuses are fueling the Taliban insurgency. In one prison that has become a symbol of the abuse, two Afghan detainees died in 2002 after American soldiers beat them and hung them by their arms from the ceiling. Even as American-run prisons improved, the overcrowded Afghan-run prison system worsened. The Pentagon's new approach suggests building a new prison just for extremist prisoners so they are no longer mixed together with more moderate prisoners. In another effort to acknowledge that Afghanistan cannot only be won from the Taliban by force, the U.S. military is sending Drug Enforcement Agency officials to target drug-trafficking kingpins, who are handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to the Taliban every year, according to some estimates. The DEA teams will also train Afghan anti-narcotics police.