These attacks on NATO troops by infiltrators — or fanatics — has been increasing over the last year and spiked in August. Hence, the additional steps taken to thoroughly vet candidates for the police force.
The U.S. military has suspended training of some Afghan forces while the Americans review the process of vetting new recruits following a spike in deadly attacks on international troops last month, officials said Sunday.
There have been 34 attacks by Afghan police or soldiers on their international allies so far this year — at least 12 in August alone. The members of the Afghan security forces have killed 45 international troops, putting intense strain on the relationship. The attacks have complicated a key pillar in the plan for the U.S.-led coalition to withdraw by the end of 2014 — training Afghan forces to take the lead in securing their own country.
Lt. Col. Todd Harrell, a spokesman for U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan, said the Americans have halted training for at least a month of about 1,000 trainees of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a government-backed militia that is under the authority of the national police but operates independently. He said the Americans are redoing background checks on the Afghans.
“The training of the ALP recruits has been paused while we go through this re-vetting process to take a look at this process to see if there’s anything that we can improve,” Harrell said. “It may take a month. It may take two months. We don’t know.”
As it stands right now, our boys are sitting ducks. Aside from being more aware of the possibility of attack, there isn’t much else we’ve been doing prior to this action. It is tempting to want to disarm the Afghans when they come in close proximity to NATO troops but such a lack of trust shown in recruits would probably be devastating for morale.
And it isn’t likely that this will stop the attacks. There are other motivations for these murders besides the attacker being inspired, or part of, the Taliban. The vein of extremism that runs through Afghan society creates fanatics that will kill for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the simple idea that infidels are in their country.
But for the sake of the troops, we should hope that NATO will do a better job of keeping the enemy from infiltrating the forces we are training to take over security when we are gone.