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The Taliban have adopted a simple strategy to undermine U.S. efforts to transfer policing and military power to the Afghanistan government. They’re dressing as U.S. friendly local forces, infiltrating their ranks and causing carnage. “Taliban insurgents wearing police uniforms attacked a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing three police officers,” the New York Times reports. “In a separate incident, NATO said that one of its service members was killed on Sunday after three individuals wearing Afghan police uniforms turned their guns on coalition troops, in another apparent ‘green on blue’ attack. The three attackers fled and were being sought, NATO said.” Although the media remains mum on the faux fragging, it’s proving a highly effective strategy for destroying Afghan and coalition troop morale. How do you fight that?

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  1. Shorter answer: You don’t continue to fight the evolving internecine warfare in Afghanistan. I think we should support the U.S. and Allied troops, by bringing them home, immediately. So what if we become another in a long line of superpowers that have been unable to bring unwieldy Afghanistan under our heel. I think America’s national pride can survive the “hit.” In my opinion, that country is not worth fighting over, especially since it seems likely that any of the gains our good folks have made improving Afghan society will, sadly, be reversed once we do leave.

    Longer version: I think 9/11 was a horrific event, but I think it should have been treated as a sophisticated multi-pronged crime carried out by a criminal syndicate—and pursued as a crime by the FBI and others as an effort with a small footprint, not as a war against an enemy with the world as its borders. We have ground down the ½ of 1% of our populace (and their families!) that serves us so well in the military with relentless repeated tours of duty. We have also, dangerously, I think, created a “contractor army” (mercenaries?) serving abroad and militarized our domestic police, all at great expense. In fact, the entire “war on terror” may end up costing us a good portion of a generation and a few trillion dollars, when all costs are considered. Not to mention the social costs of reintegrating all of these people into civilian society, especially with having limited economic options to offer the returnees. We will all have to step up to make this right for the effected individuals and their families.

    As for the video, it was the first time I have ever seen NATO TV, which was interesting, and I am damn glad the quasi-SWAT team did not have a practice dog to shoot when it breached those dwellings!

  2. This has been going on for a long time… How do we fight it….be ready always, no safety, round in the chamber at all times, trust no one. Aware and on point 24/7 is the only thing you can do….it’s worked for me so far.

    • Also along this subject you had a funny bathroom carry post on this site a while ago…a good one at that. When I shower the Beretta is in the soap dish, when I s*** it’s in my hand that is not in use, when I shave it’s on the sink. It gets a little wet, so I oil it up when i’m done. When I enter the chow hall I unsnap my holster as I sit down…

    • And with that attitude, we wonder why the rest of the world hates Americans.

      Would you not fight against an army that invaded this country?

      • “Would you not fight against an army that invaded this country?”

        Because that would require troops who know how to fight, rather than kill goat herders or fly drones from a air conditioned office in the US. Think about this, how many of our “special” forces did we have to send to extra-judicially execute a unarmed old man and his wife in Pakistan? If we are getting so many cases of PTSD now, i’d wonder what would happen if we fought an actual super power.

      • we wonder why the rest of the world hates Americans.

        Go to Normandy as see how much they hate Americans. George Bush and the US is a hero to some Africans. I could go on, but my answer would conflict with your world view.

        The whole “rest of the world” does not hate us, although there are some nations and cultures that do. I don’t have to ask why. But it’s funny — if those people who you say hate us have the chance, they move here.

        The bottom line, though, is that I’m no going to worry about why some people might hate me. I’d rather let them worry about why I hate them.

  3. In WWII didn’t they use “Friend or Foe” words and that those phrases changed on a daily basis and either you knew the right word or you where shot on site? Its been a long but they use “Flash” and “Thunder”as code words in Normandy as well as clickers. In addition, did they not also use different uniforms with different emblems/pins at check points. Perfect, no, but better than nothing.

    • That wouldn’t help. They aren’t dressed as Americans. They are dressed as Afghans in the police and military that we train.

      My battalion had several instances a year ago of Afghans pulli g guns on us. That we didn’t kill them immediately is a shame. It has only encouraged them to continue.

      Afghanistan is not like Iraq. We owe them nothing and the idea of us putting a puppeteer government in place that tells us what to do will go down as a big laugh in the annals of history. That we instituted a government without a bill of rights is shameful.

  4. The one problem with trying to set up a stable “government” in Afghanistan, is that no one stopped to ask the locals whether they WANTED one to start with. Considering that even our own government is abusing its power on a frequent basis, to say nothing of governments in that part of the world, maybe those Pashtun shepherds are on to something by keeping Afghanistan lawless.

    • It’s not “lawless.” The tribal law is actually quite effective. They have the right idea to keep government at the local level. When conflicts arise amongst different tribes, the chieftans get together to work it out, often with large bounties and retribution to the injured party.

  5. Didn’t soldiers performing watch on the frontlines in WWII have challenges that a potential infiltrator would have to answer correctly or die?

    For example: “Who won the 1933 World Series?”
    Incorrect answers: “The Senators”, “Das Boot”, “Banzai!”
    Result: Detained or shot.

    Seems like that might work to a certain extent.

    • Did you read the article? If so, what questions are you going to ask a Afghani police officer that wont be leaked within the first day or so?

      • I don’t know. But there’s probably at least some trustworthy ones that can handle the responsibility.

        In any case, I can’t be bothered to give two ****s.

  6. The only way to stop this stuff is to work with a populace that has an active interest in putting a stop to it. The Afghanis don’t care (enough) so that’s that.

    • Exactly. They don’t care, so why should we?

      This is the question I now ask all these Dudley-Do-Gooder types who try to engage my emotions for the suffering of people in various dungheap countries around the world:

      “Do they care? No? Then why should I?”

  7. Umm, there is no “faux” friendly attacks. These guys are not “dressed as” police/military. They ARE the police/military. Of course, the Afghan government is going to say that they were sneaky “militants” who just happened across some fully assembled uniforms with proper patches and rank, and identical weapons/load bearing gear. I’d bet money that if you run the serial numbers on their weapons, they were issued to official afghan forces. The only difference between the police and the insurgent over there is the time of day. Is it 0900? He’s a policeman. Is it 2300? He’s an insurgent. Occasionally their watch stops and they just start shooting.

    • You also ignore the possibility that gear was stolen from depots, taken off corpses or deserters, or outright purchased from the manufacturer or a distributor.

  8. The only way to “win” is to kill each and every person there. If the political leadership is unwilling to issue such an order then pack up and go home.

    If the Russians couldn’t do it, why think Americans can? Pound for pound the Russians are about as brutal as they come.

    • That’s not really true. The Soviets were made up of conscripts and their tactics tended towards the unusually stupid at times.

      The Brits did well there and so have we. We just lost patience.

  9. The only way to stop the Taliban is to out-Taliban the Taliban, and that’s not something that we can do. The beauty of asymmetric warfare from the point of view of the insurgent is that they can do things that we can’t or won’t.

    Maybe we should send in a few FBI SWAT teams to kill the Taliban’s wives, children and dogs. Or goats. That’ll teach ’em a lesson.

    • When “they” do it… it’s terrorism. When “we” do it… it’s pacification.

      “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

  10. the ‘kill em all and let god sort em out’ crowd are the one’s that have never been in harness and never will be. the wannabes who couldn’t hack it for real. in all the talks we had during our training and leading to our first deployment one point we agreed on. we didn’t want to do anything that would make our mother’s ashamed of us. that’s how 18 year olds roll before the get into the shit. as for tribal and local leadership that works well for a third world rural village, not so much here.

    • “as for tribal and local leadership that works well for a third world rural village, not so much here.”
      Go in to a ghetto in Chicago (or any major city) and tell me how things are different, besides electricity, running water and paved roads.

      • For one, I’m guessing kids actually respect their elders in these tribes, unlike Chicago. Crime would go way down if the south and west sides of Chicago had such strong family and communal ties as these “backward” tribal areas.
        I’m guessing that if you talk back to your elders in these areas, someone is going to smack the living daylights out of you until you learn respect. Something which doesn’t happen enough in the ghetto.

  11. We should have pulled out in early 2002, after Tora Bora. Never should have gone into Iraq in the first place. Now the chickenhawks and Israel Firsters are gung ho for Syria and Iran. The idiocy never ends.

    • Really? You’re gonna bring Israel into this? How high are you? Talk about out of left field. You want to enlighten us about how that works?

  12. Step 1. Admit that we’re neither going to pacify them, nor educate them into the era of modern western democracies. All those pink-cheeked Ivy League cherubs in the US State Department better grow up and realize that some people are simply never going to sign onto the idea of secular western democracy as their style of governance. These Afghani’s are high on that list.

    Step 2. Quit pouring money down this particular rat hole. Don’t bother giving them any more aid, money, bribes, whatever. All this money we’ve poured into infrastructure, schools, etc – it will all be for naught within a short time after we’ve left. So quit building stuff they’re only going to destroy.

    Step 3. Leave. Know full well that when we do leave, the country will spiral downwards into a shithole populated with goat-humping savages, and just accept that as the Way Things Are[tm]. When we leave, modify our doctrine from “nation building” to “rubble don’t cause trouble.” Add the footnote that if the rubble does try to cause trouble, we should make the rubble bounce.

    • Add the footnote that if the rubble does try to cause trouble, we should make the rubble bounce.

      Didja ever think of joining the ATF?

      • Nope. Never worked for the government, mostly because I cannot stand being in the company of incompetent goof-offs.

        Once upon a time, we could prosecute war competently. Then we started worrying about what lawyers thought of war. We’ve not won a war since then.


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