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: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @emptywheel: FBI Is Not “Surveilling” WikiLeaks Supporters in Its Never-Ending Investigation; Is It “Collecting” on Them? https://t.co/3
36mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @NRA Fuck off
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Chris Jenks on the Petraeus Plea http://t.co/DgMQ2bYo1T Say Petraeus should have been recalled into military+prosecuted. But no jai.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JustADCohen Very misleading and incomplete article. True figure will be nearly double that w/prosecutors, investigators, staff figured in.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @djmincey11: Florida man fatally shoots his neighbor, puts the body in truck bed and drives to attorney’s office: http://t.co/jhuUc15ZE7
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @iwelsh: I'm fundraising. If you like my writing, consider giving: I'll write more. http://t.co/c7Cmfkr9mG
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioEW @NBCChicagoPD That show is simply disgusting. @NBC should be ashamed of themselves for putting it on the air.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @goldengateblond: MSNBC: Harrison Ford Crashed His Plane FOX: Member of the Hollywood Elite Crashed His Plane CNN: We Found a Plane!
12hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis Interesting move fr Chevron. @DavidColeGtown
12hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @fordm Jesus.
12hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DavidColeGtown Also dodging issues of WHY it appears (acc to CIA) there were no heroes. Which still exist under Obama @ColMorrisDavis
13hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DavidColeGtown Yes. Unlike you I read things before I comment on them. You're doing CIA's work right now. Congrats! @ColMorrisDavis
13hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031