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'Friendly fire' deaths suggests failed U.S. strategy
Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 10/05/2012 @ 8:52 pm In Front Page,U.S.,World | No Comments
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WASHINGTON – The upsurge in “green-on-blue” attacks, in which the Taliban has killed more than 50 U.S. troops in recent months, reflect a determined Afghanistan tactic which could undermine the entire strategy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to train Afghan forces prior to the departure of NATO forces at the end of 2014, says a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Contrary to the Taliban tactic being a “last gasp” effort as U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta describes the killings, regional analysts believe it is greatly limiting the effectiveness of any training. In addition, the Taliban tactic also is causing serious stress with the U.S. and allied trainers who can no longer trust their trainees.
This development also has led to a suspension of joint operations between allied and Afghan forces, until further notice, due in part to the recent release of the anti-Islamic film in the United States that ridiculed the Muhammad and Islam.
The attacks continue despite stepped-up efforts to find ways to halt them. Two sources of attacks are becoming increasingly apparent. One is through increased Taliban infiltration, for which better screening is under way. The other appears to be cultural, with Afghan personnel discontented with civilian killings and alleged insults to Islam.
In this regard, WND/G2Bulletin reported that the U.S. is rushing some 400 lie detector devices to Afghanistan but lacks properly trained individuals to operate them.
Another 300 counter-intelligence personnel also have been placed in the Afghan army in an effort to spot potential killers.
However, analysts say that any comprehensive vetting of recruits and trainees is almost impossible, since there is no data bank of information as in the U.S. and applications can, and are, easily falsified, including fake letters of reference.
In addition, so-called “guardian angels” of the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops are being fully armed at all times to watch over Afghan units for any sign of personnel who may attempt an attack against ISAF troops. Despite such a precaution, however, killings of U.S. troops continued over the weekend.
Unless the problem is resolved soon, there is a strong prospect that the timeline for departure of allied troops could be delayed. It also would give the Taliban more opportunity to attempt to overthrow the Kabul government once allied forces depart.
“The insider attacks are doing enormous damage to ISAF troop morale and to relations between ISAF and the Afghan army,” according to the open intelligence entity Langley Intelligence Group, or Lignet., which is comprised of former analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency.
“Insufficient funding and time have already raised serious questions about whether ISAF will be able to train the Afghan army before it departs in 2014,” a Lignet report said.
“The damage being caused by insider attacks will make training the Afghan army by 2014 even more difficult.”
As that deadline approaches, time to sift out infiltrators and malcontents is running out. And political backing of the ISAF quickly diminishes.
“This is raising the potential of a collapse of the Afghan government after ISAF withdraws,’ the report said, “because the insider attacks could lead to early withdrawals of ISAF troops and insufficient training that will result in an Afghan army incapable of withstanding the Taliban.”
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