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. Continue reading

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emptywheel @pwnallthethings Yes. But that is, of course, an admission that Russian HUMINT has access to gold dust via many channels. @BradMossEsq
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings The more functional you get the more over-cautious people will be abt defaulting to classified. @BradMossEsq
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings Agree there too. But at that level I expect lots of most interesting to be private emails and classified. @BradMossEsq
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emptywheel @BradMossEsq I don't believe I said that. But I do think YOU are treating these as if they're the crown jewels. They're not.
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Possible Sheldon is considering bankrolling Snyder to undercut the other midwest governor the Kochs will be funding @p2wy
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings Moreover given Russian competence in other collection approaches, they likely knew most of this. @BradMossEsq
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings Of course. But I assume it's nowhere near the most sensitive stuff Russia has gotten from us. @BradMossEsq
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 With unbelievable cowardice, the same way he has approached gay marriage? Plus, if Sheldon's banking him...
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emptywheel @BradMossEsq You forgot the bit where 1) these are unclassified emails 2) Obama's WH overclassifies everything.
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emptywheel @BradMossEsq Actually pointing out that CISA wouldn't do anything to stop it. But that may be a bit subtle for you to understand, I get that
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bmaz RT @OKnox: While @jetjocko is right that it isn't really deserving of #NerdProm moniker, well...I try http://t.co/qnj5iv15uW
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bmaz @OKnox @jetjocko Okay, that's very cool
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