Village Stability Operations

Insider Attack Kills Seventeen at Afghan Local Police Post Staffed Under New Screening Program

Detail from CIA map of Afghanistan.

Detail from CIA map of Afghanistan. Click on map for a larger view.

The Afghan Local Police program was a centerpiece of David Petraeus’ counterinsurgency (COIN) program in Afghanistan when he took over command after Stanley McChyrstal was fired. The program came under extreme scrutiny this week when Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for the expulsion of US Special Operations forces from the province of Maidan Wardak after repeated reports of atrocities carried out by forces claiming to be allied with ALP forces trained by SOF. Today, there is further bad news for the ALP program, as seventeen people have been killed at an ALP post in what appears to be an insider attack. Since the attack occurred early this morning, it should be kept in mind that information is still coming in regarding the details of what took place. Today’s attack was in Ghazni province, which is adjacent to Wardak, as seen in the map here.

Back in September, training of ALP was the first program suspended due to insider attacks. The (delayed by the elections from October) December 2012 “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan” (pdf) informed us that the re-screening of ALP was already moving quickly by then:

To mitigate the risk of insider threats, SOJTF-A has taken active measures to re-validate all 16,474 ALP personnel. This revalidation process is currently 52 percent complete, with less than one percent removed due to nefarious activities or counter-intelligence concerns. This process, which is currently ongoing, is very similar in design to our initial screening/validation methodology. It begins at the local level by conducting shuras and intimately involving local elders, who must vouch for each ALP member, ensuring he remains in good standing. Each member’s application paperwork is re-reviewed by various personnel from the Coalition, MoI, NDS, and the DCOPs. If any ALP member “flags” as suspicious, additional counter-intelligence (both Afghan and Coalition) measures are taken. If it is determined that an ALP member is unfit, he is removed from the program. These processes are non-negotiable. In addition, NDS plans to embed three agents per 100 ALP to identify possible infiltration by the enemy. The prevention/elimination of Insider Threats will remain COMISAF’s top force protection priorities.

So Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan claimed in December that they had already revalidated just over half the ALP force and that less than one percent of the force had been removed due to potential nefarious connections. And yet, almost two months later, we now have a major attack on ALP that has the hallmarks of an insider attack. From the New York Times:

A group of 17 Afghan policemen were drugged by their comrades while on duty and then shot to death in their sleep in what appears to be the single worst incident in a string of similar attacks, according to Afghan officials.

The attack took place at a remote Afghan Local Police post in Ghazni Province, south of the capital, early Wednesday morning, according to General Zrawar Zahid, the Ghazni police chief.

Other Afghan officials said authorities had already arrested two policemen who they said were Taliban infiltrators who had carried out the attack.

The AP report carried by the Washington Post suggests that not all the dead were ALP:

The dead included 10 members of the government-backed Afghan local police, and seven of their civilian friends, said Provincial Gov. Musa Khan Akbarzada. He says there was a conspiracy of some sort but declined to confirm if poison was involved.

The previously mentioned December report from DoD has a remarkable level of detail on the status of the ALP, with a snapshot as of September 26, 2012: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz .@MonaHol No, it is not a sex crime, and that is an asinine headline for @Forbes to run. http://t.co/ecj9xtScVy
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @cocktailhag Heh. And now that #Rays won, I'm putting another clear coat on door number two.
18mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @cocktailhag: @JimWhiteGNV Not as satisfying as refinishing, I expect.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Heading outside to shovel horse shit in 93F heat. Much more pleasant than watching Balfour pitch 10th for #Rays.
38mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @AntonioFrench: Organizers say today's planned protest involving halting highway traffic has been postponed at the request of the Brown …
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kellyoxford @LegallyErin It is a crime, yes, absolutely. Sex crime...uh, no, it is not.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @DanCBarr: @bmaz They will probably rule quickly. Reinhardt wrote Perry and Smith-Kline. Berzon joined in Smith-Kline. Gould wrote Witt.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV “@TBTimes_Rays: Good play by #Rays Longoria on bad throw by Hanigan to catch Bogaerts stealing 3B” Cartwheel tag.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @etb714 @wellsbennett Okay, that is an awesomely cute picture.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @JohnHorneUK: This award winning pic was taken in #Bahrain in Feb 2011. In July 2014 the photographer was arrestd & tortured for it http…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @DanCBarr Agree. I'm just still disappointed in Reinhardt's Romer based watered down Perry decision. Hope they get this decision out quickly
3hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2014
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930