- Posted September 17, 2012 by
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Reportage: Green on blue attacks, a real threat for Afghanistan
Inside attacks or the cases when members of the Afghan security forces are killing foreign troops unexpectedly have been raised shapely in view of the fact that foreign forces are preparing to hand over security responsibilities of the country to Afghan security forces by the mid of 2013 and leave Afghanistan.Over the past nine months of 2012, 45 ISAF soldiers were killed in 31 inside attacks carried out by members of the Afghan security forces, showing a sharp lift up in number of inside attacks.These attacks have underlined the capabilities of Afghan security forces to defend their country from the Taliban rebels and other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups once the U.S. forces are gone.
Inside attacks are obviously the new technique of the Taliban fighters who try to demoralize the Afghan security forces and wash the trust and partnership between the Afghan security forces and foreign forces.
The growing threats of the Taliban sleeping cells have increased concerns in Kabul and Washington that such attacks by the infiltrated Taliban agents inside the Afghan security forces can fade the trust between the Afghan security forces and NATO forces and impair the efforts of NATO and international community to leave behind a reliable, trustworthy and workable force.As part of the media war, Taliban are accepting that their infiltrated agents or sleeping cells are working around the clock inside the Afghan security institutions but experts say besides the infiltration of Taliban rebels, some acts of U.S. forces also fueled hatred and animosity between the Afghan security forces. Jeffrey Bordin, a U.S. military and political Behavioral scientist underlines several reasons fueling animosity between the Afghan forces and foreign forces.“Factors that fueled the most animosity are U.S. forces conducting night raids/home searches, violating female privacy during searches, U.S. road blocks, and publically searching/disarming ANSF members when they enter bases and past massacres of civilians by U.S. force.”
Various incidents like desecration of the holy Quran by U.S. forces in Bagram airbase and the release of a video showing the U.S. marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters also motivated the Taliban sympathizers inside the Afghan security forces to kill foreign forces.In March, after a series of protests against the desecration of the Quran by U.S. forces in Bagram airbase, an Afghan policeman shot dead two American advisors inside the well-protected compound of the ministry of interior and could flee.On the other hand, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, John Kirby said that majority of inside attacks are individual acts of grievance.
“Based on the limited evidence that we have been able to collect, we believe that less than half, somewhere in the neighborhood of three to four out of every 10 [attacks] is inspired, or resourced, or planned or executed by the Taliban or Taliban sympathizers.”
In the last attempt of alliance in Afghanistan to prevent the growing infiltration of Taliban agents inside the Afghan security forces, the U.S. has postponed the training of 1,000 Afghan local police recruits to intense the re-vetting process of these recruits in a hope to reduce the problem.The deputy commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan, Lt. General Adrian Bradshaw said they are taking precautionary measures to prevent the threat of inside attacks.
“It is acknowledged that the training of some 1,000 Afghan Local Police recruits has been temporarily put on hold in order to allow for an intensive re-vetting process to take place for the 16,300 current members of the ALP.”
The vetting process for newly recruits of Afghan security forces had been ignored in the rush to expand the number of security forces to replace the outgoing NATO forces. Anthony Cordesman from Center for Strategic and International Studies says.
“The entire ANSF force-building effort is under stress and forced to recruit lower-quality personnel, men with less-known backgrounds, men motivated only be the desire for employment and money, and men from areas where their culture is more traditional and less adaptable to encounters with U.S. and ISAF personnel.”
The deputy commander of ISAF forces Lt. General Bradshaw says they are re-checking the vetting of Afghan security personnel to reinforce precautionary measures.
“The measures being applied to ANA Special Forces and ALP personnel reflects the intensive effort to recheck the vetting status of the some 350,000 ANSF personnel as part of a number of actions recently instituted to reinforce existing precautions related to the insider threat. Much of this re-vetting task has already been completed and numbers of individuals, where vetting status has been found to be in doubt, have been suspended pending further investigation, or removed from the force.”
To tackle the threat of inside attacks, the deputy commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan, Lt. General Bradshaw is introducing several measures.
“Among the new initiatives being implemented are improvements to the vetting process for new recruits; increasing the number of counterintelligence teams; introduction of interview procedures for ANA soldiers returning from leave; a new warning and reporting system for insider threats; enhanced intelligence exchange between the ANSF and ISAF; establishment of an anonymous reporting system; improved training for counter-intelligence agents; establishment of a joint investigation commission when insider threats occur; and enhanced cultural training to include visits to Coalition home training centers by Afghan Cultural and Religious Affairs advisers, which were authorized by President Karzai.”
It is hard to predict about the outcomes of these measures are taken by ISAF and Afghan government to tackle the growing threat of insider attacks but it is obvious that the persistence of such attacks can impair the bolster and boost of Afghan security forces and reinforcing of these forces to protect the country from Taliban rebels after 2014.