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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bmaz RT @Mansfield2016: Bolden is a former general cousnel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and then there's Stivers: https://…
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emptywheel Is there an official definition of a Caliphate? Cause Olsen seems to think he knows one when he sees one. Wouldn't that be a "state"?
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emptywheel Olsen: "NCTC, we see the results of that collection without knowing where it came from." On Section 215. Interesting.
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emptywheel Mueller having been caught in a lie, Olsen moves the ball and says we just have to share as much info.
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emptywheel Good job by Isikoff on calling out Mueller's lie about the "gap" that needed to be filled by Section 215.
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emptywheel If I were asking these questions I'd ask what happened at Mueller's May 2004 meeting at Cheney's office and at his request. Never explained.
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emptywheel Isikoff: DId you have any concerns ethically [about torture]? Mueller: [cuts him off] You have my answer.
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emptywheel @MiekeEoyang He missed the entire Benghazi industry? @Isikoff
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emptywheel @Ali_Gharib This is you announcing your book on all the lies Israel has gotten away with? I expect to read it in 2024, then?
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bmaz @nickmartin Then again, McCain will say anything to get his name in the news and appear to be relevant.
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bmaz @MikeScarcella But OPR and David Margolis just couldn't find any sanctionable behavior. Funny how that is.
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