Just because I happened to read one post and point out a small error before going on a beach walk, Marcy had a hard time believing I really did go on vacation last week. While I was gone, one of the topics I usually track carefully went completely out of control. The rate of green on blue attacks in Afghanistan spiked dramatically, with today’s nonfatal attack bringing the total to five attacks in the past week:
An Afghan policeman opened fire on NATO forces and Afghan soldiers Monday morning in the fifth apparent attack in a week by Afghan security forces on their international partners. The U.S.-led military coalition says none of its service members were killed.
At least seven American service members have been killed in the past week by either their Afghan counterparts or attackers wearing their uniforms.
Notably, NATO is unable to deviate from its current script of claiming the attacks are all “isolated incidents” and that we should consider just how large the Afghan forces are becoming due to our superior recruiting and training:
Coalition officials say a few rogue policemen and soldiers should not taint the overall integrity of the Afghan security forces and that the attacks have not impeded plans to hand over security to Afghan forces, which will be 352,000 strong in a few months.
But the same AP article doesn’t seem to buy the NATO spin:
A recent rash of “green-on-blue” attacks, in which Afghan security forces or attackers wearing their uniforms turn their guns on the coalition troops training them, has raised worries about a deterioration of trust between the two sides as well as the quality of the Afghan police and soldiers who will take over full security responsibility for fighting the Taliban when most international troops leave by the end of 2014. It also raises renewed worry that insurgents may be infiltrating the Afghan army and police despite heightened screening.
When AP wire stories begin to describe the problems with Afghan force training in terms of “deterioration of trust” and express concerns about the “quality of Afghan police and soldiers” while also pointing out infiltration by insurgents, it is clear that the Obama administration and NATO are losing their propaganda campaign in which they continue to insist that everything is just fine in Afghanistan and that progress toward the hand-off of security responsibility in 2014 is on schedule.
But the spike in green on blue attacks isn’t the only bad news in Afghanistan. In addition to attacking NATO forces, infiltrators in the Afghan police force are killing fellow policemen and defecting in large groups. Also, local officials in Afghanistan continue to be targeted in attacks.
Slightly Better News
On another front, more evidence is accumulating on improved relations and information sharing between the US intelligence community and Pakistan’s ISI. Read more