cultural clash

Hiding Report on Fratricide in Afghanistan Doesn’t Make It Go Away

On January 20, the New York Times carried what they at first thought was a scoop on a “classified” report (pdf) on Afghan military and police personnel killing NATO forces. After they were told that the Wall Street Journal had written on the report back in June, they admitted as much in a correction. They later added another correction after I pointed out that a version of the report clearly marked “unclassified” could be found easily even though the Times referred to the report as classified. It turns out that the report had indeed been published first as unclassified but then was retroactively classified while the Wall Street Journal article was being prepared.

Events over the last few days serve to demonstrate the folly of trying to hide damaging information rather than openly reviewing it and trying to learn lessons from it. The report in question went into great detail to document the cultural misunderstandings that exist between NATO forces and their “partner” Afghan forces, and how these misunderstandings escalate to the point that Afghan personnel end up killing NATO personnel. In the executive summary of the report, we learn that “ANSF members identified numerous social, cultural and operational grievances they have with U.S. soldiers.” Arrogance on the part of U.S. soldiers often was cited, as well.

This clash of social values is at the heart of the newest wave of anti-US and anti-NATO violence in Afghanistan which erupted after an Afghan employee found Korans among materials being burned last week at a NATO base. A part of the response to the Koran burning is that on Saturday, two NATO personnel were killed inside Afghanistan’s interior ministry building. BBC reports that an Afghan police officer is suspected in the shootings:

Afghanistan’s interior ministry has said one of its own employees is suspected of the killing of two senior US Nato officers inside the ministry.

Officials earlier named police intelligence officer Abdul Saboor from Parwan province as the main suspect behind Saturday’s attack.

The NATO response to the killing was swift:

Nato withdrew all its personnel from Afghan ministries after the shooting.

The importance of this move cannot be overstated. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @micahflee IoPapercuts
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Tedards @anthony_farda @ColMorrisDavis Who gives a damn? Are you denying his record from that time?? You can cut me out of this at this pt.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin Listen, do your own research from here on out, I'm done. Believe whatever you want. From article https://t.co/3Zwgdgx0KV
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimWhiteGNV @shannynmoore It is perfect. Wish I had been smart enough to think of that.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @bmaz @shannynmoore Yes. I'm still laughing.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @shannynmoore: Does anyone know if #Carly Fiorina is selling off the parts of her aborted campaign? #AskingForAFriend #GOP2016
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @shannynmoore @JimWhiteGNV Ooooh! Best tweet of the day.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin Are you kidding? Her team, surrogates+trolls have been attacking Sanders on civil rts for weeks https://t.co/PqC2bNFHKn
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sbagen Agree. But, dang, Ferguson wasn't real bright how they handled this.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin Well, I think she took the low road when she mocked Sanders civil rights beliefs and history. No sympathy.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV So I understand the FBI is trying to finish off the dildo roundup. Hope all goes well and peacefully.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @IWPCHI @mock_kevin If she is going to dishonestly play that card, she deserves to have her record during that time described. Its all fair
8hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2016
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829