According to rt.com, Afghan soldiers who are ostensibly allies have become a cause of serious concern for American troops. “In the last six weeks, this is the seventh killing of an American soldier by an Afghan partner. Following the burning of Muslim holy books at Bagram Air Base, an Afghan soldier gunned down two US troops on February 23. Eight days later, two more American combatants were killed inside an Afghan ministry and two Army paratroopers were shot by Afghan soldiers in Kandahar province.” And in the wake of the murder of sixteen Afghan civilians, allegedly by Sgt. Robert Bales, the situation doesn’t look to improve any time soon . . .
But the military appears to be keeping the fragging quiet, being conveniently vague when listing causes of death such as “came under small arms fire” in these situations.
First warnings of a “rapidly growing systemic threat” for American soldiers were voiced back in May 2011 in a classified report submitted by Jeffrey Bordin, a behavioral scientist with the US Army in Afghanistan.
Bordin wrote of a dangerous “crisis of trust” between American and Afghan forces, which could unwind into an “unprecedented” magnitude of killings “between ‘allies’ in modern history.”
The report received a harsh review among coalition officials, says The Wall Street Journal, but nine months after it a spokesman for the Security Assistance Force still describes the number of American troops killed by their Afghan partners as “high.”
“We just never know if there’s a Taliban sympathizer among the Afghan Army troops or within the security forces,” an Army official told The Washington Examiner. “We remain very aware that at any time we may have an enemy among us with direct access to our troops inside the wire.”
The report claims journalists have counted at least seventy American soldiers killed by Afghans since 2007, so problem goes back long before the recent Koran burning incident. And it’s more than simply Taliban infiltrators.
As Bordin concluded, “the allies are divided by a solid mutual dislike coupled with a desire to survive at the other’s expense.” Not exactly the ideal working relationship. While American troops are trying to prepare Afghan regulars to take over for them after the scheduled 2014 withdrawal, this thing can’t end soon enough.