Major news services are reporting that NATO forces in Afghanistan have suffered the tenth death this week from supposed friendly Afghan forces after an international military member was killed by a man dressed as an Afghani policeman.
This year alone has already seen 30 such deaths – up from previous years. This is a disturbing trend, made more disturbing as most international forces are scheduled to leave in the year 2014.
As soldiers are concerned – isn’t it enough to worry about the known bad guys without having to second guess the indigenous forces attached to or working with US / international forces? It is important to keep in mind that these attacks are being carried out by a small minority of the Afghan forces and we shouldn’t automatically assume that every Afghan is a threat. I think that is a goal of our enemy – to make us second guess our Afghan counterparts in an attempt to disrupt our ability to carry out missions and work with each other.
What are US forces doing to combat this trend?
Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has reportedly put more pressure on Afghan President Karzai to introduce more rigorous vetting of Afghan forces. Will this be the answer? It may have some affect though I am doubtful that such acts can be stopped completely and short of separating forces or not allowing Afghan forces to be armed around US forces (which as mentioned above that would have a negative affect on our ability to conduct missions) this is always going to be something we will face.
The only good thing to come of this is that hopefully the increase in these attacks will mean that training will be developed and that these types of scenarios will be used when preparing troops for future deployments so that they aren’t completely caught off-guard if such an event occurs.
We would love to hear what you all feel about these incidents – just remember to be mindful of your comments and to keep them professional.