declare victory and get out

Military Slowly Gaining Perspective on Insider Attacks in Afghanistan

Citing a “former American official”, the New York Times today dubbed insider, or green on blue, attacks as “the signature violence of 2012″ as it provided information directly from an Afghan soldier who turned his gun on US troops on May 11 of this year in Kunar province, killing one US soldier and wounding two as the US soldiers were visiting the Afghan post where Mahmood, the attacker, was stationed.

The Times points out that despite the Taliban’s claims that they have many infiltrators within Afghan forces, in the case of Mahmood, he took the initiative in approaching the Taliban once he decided that he wished to carry out an attack. It appears that local opinions where he was stationed played a role in shaping his decision:

But until May, he worked and fought alongside foreigners without incident. The change came in the Ghaziabad District of Kunar, where he ended up after the start of 2012, he said.

The area is thick with Taliban, along with Islamists from Pakistan. Many residents sympathized with the insurgents and often complained to Afghan soldiers about the abuses committed by Americans and the failure of Afghan soldiers to control much of anything beyond the perimeter of their own outpost, Mr. Mahmood said. The Taliban, they glorified.

Listening to villagers, Mr. Mahmood became convinced that the foreigners had killed too many Afghans and insulted the Prophet Muhammad too many times. He wanted to be driving them out, not helping them stay. The villagers’ stories “strengthened my desire to kill Americans with my own fingers,” he said.

The article provides hope that the military is finally gaining a real perspective on the issues highlighted in the seminal report “A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility” (pdf), which the military first retroactively classified and then embraced as it raced to respond to the growing crisis of insider attacks by preparing “training materials” implementing (in a very crude way) some of the recommendations from the report. But it now appears that the military is stumbling its way toward a deeper understanding of how cultural flashpoints are symptomatic the larger problem that the US simply is not welcome in Afghanistan:

But behind it all, many senior coalition and Afghan officials are now concluding that after nearly 12 years of war, the view of foreigners held by many Afghans has come to mirror that of the Taliban. Hope has turned into hatred, and some will find a reason to act on those feelings. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Found in my home office printer: A notice for a 1st Amendment CLE Seminar and a recipe for "Grandma Johnson's Applesauce Cake". Decisions...
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel Just a question of getting to be an old man, like me. But I did promise him Nutter Butters if he does well.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV Don't tell me you needed trainers to teach him that?
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @beebigelow: Rubes in the Roundabout
45mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Gomer is an expert at just chilling. http://t.co/F8eqdiSEcM
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Think I'm gonna start a band called Noobs in the Traffic Circle. #PleaseDontSlamYourBreaks #ItsATriangleNotAHexagon
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JamesPMorrison Likewise. Good stuff you do, wish I had figured it out before.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Please dispose of your questions here. http://t.co/tClTuw6wph
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So, #FF @JamesPMorrison I just did. Mostly knew him from 24 before, but truly killer Twitter feed.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @dangillmor Deal, just let me know
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @darrenrovell: Pats Hater Shirt of the Week http://t.co/jkiQUdsxM9 (via @BartHubbuch, @km12brown)
1hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2015
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031