Two more dead in yet another green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan
The Associated Press is reporting today that another "green-on-blue" attack by our Afghan "allies" has killed two more soldiers:
An Afghan soldier turned his weapon on international allies in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing two soldiers, the NATO military coalition said.
The killings were the latest in a surge of insider attacks by Afghan forces against international troops, with 12 killed by their supposed allies this month alone. The first 10 were identified as Americans.
The morning attack happened in the eastern Laghman province, said Lt. Col. Hagen Messer of Germany, a spokesman for the alliance. NATO later said in a statement that international troops returned fire and killed the attacker. Afghan officials are investigating the shooting. The majority of troops operating in the Laghman area are American.
The soldiers were travelling in a convoy through Alingar district along with Afghan troops when one of the vehicles struck a roadside bomb, said Noor Rahman, a spokesman for the Laghman police. When the troops dismounted their vehicles, a dispute broke out and one of the Afghans fired on his coalition allies. The NATO forces then called for air support, and helicopters fired on the Afghan soldiers, Rahman said.
The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, wrote in an oped published in the Washington Post on Friday that the U.S. should not be "derailed" by such attacks from amongst our Afghan "allies".
That followed his comments earlier last week where he blamed the fasting associated with the month-long Islamic celebration of Ramadan and the heat in Afghanistan for the surge in such attacks this month (video).
An assessment by Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal on Aug. 17th stated that 13% of all ISAF deaths in 2012 can be attributed to green-on-blue attacks:
Green-on-blue attacks have spiked since the beginning of 2011, with nearly 75 percent occurring since the start of last year. Of the 101 ISAF soldiers believed to have been killed by Afghan security personnel since May 2007, a total of 39, or nearly 40 percent, were killed this year. Last year, 35 ISAF soldiers were killed in green-on-blue attacks. These attacks have taken place in all areas in Afghanistan, not just in the south and east.
So far this year, green-on-blue attacks have caused 13 percent of the ISAF deaths; 299 Coalition soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to iCasualties.org.
Roggio adds that these deaths are part of an escalating trend that has spiked in August:
Over the past 11 days, there have been seven green-on-blue attacks against ISAF troops, counting today's attack. In the preceding five attacks, seven US soldiers have been killed. On Aug. 7, two Afghan soldiers killed a US soldier in the east before defecting to the Taliban. On Aug. 9, US troops killed an Afghan soldier who was attempting to gun them down at a training center in Laghman province. On Aug. 10, six US soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in Garmsir and Sangin districts in Helmand province. And on Aug. 13, a policeman wounded two US soldiersin Nangarhar.
While Gen. Allen may not want us to get "derailed" by observing the escalation of attacks against our own soldiers and Marines and the mounting body count from such attacks, perhaps it's time for our elected officials to ask some hard questions of our military leadership and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about what their plans are for addressing the senseless murder of our troops as more than 1 in every 10 deaths of our soldiers are now being killed by our supposed Afghan "allies".
And with the RNC Convention taking place this week, it would be appropriate if GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would tell the country what exactly he would do in Afghanistan as Commander-in-Chief should he be elected in November beyond continuing the failed policies of the Obama administration.
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