Military expands Bagram prison

Wired reports that the U.S. military is getting set to expand its controversial detention camp at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan — just as new reports of a “black jail” inside the facility are surfacing.

In a solicitation issued on 12 May, the U.S. military put out a request for a contractor to build three new detention housing units next to the existing facility, known formally as the Afghan National Detention Facility at Parwan (Bagram is in the southwest corner of Parwan Province). As of last September, 645 prisoners were held there.

The cost of the project — which will include construction of one special housing unit and two detention housing units — is projected to run between $10 million and $25 million. The contractor will have approximately nine months to complete the entire project.

Presumably, these new buildings are in addition to Bagram’s separate and previously clandestine detention facility, revealed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

It’s worth emphasizing here that humane treatment of prisoners is considered a cornerstone of effective counterinsurgency. The idea is to prevent further radicalization of detainees, and turning detention facilities into recruiting centers for the insurgency.

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