Most Attacks By Afghan Officials Are Personal
The US and NATO have troops stationed in Afghanistan for the purpose of fighting
al Qaeda and propping up the Afghan government to the place where they can stand on their own two feet. There are many cultural differences between the troops and their counterparts in Afghanistan.
We know that the roots of the Taliban run deep along with al Qaeda. NATO and the US is an occupying force so most of the time their troops havent been immersed in the culture that they are defending. There are bound to be cultural conflicts in this type situation anytime it occurs.
US officials say that Afghan security forces have attacked U.S. and coalition troops 45 times since May 2007. Defense officials have also said that in most cases the Afghans acted out of personal motivation and were not controlled or directed by insurgent groups. The second most common circumstances involved insurgents impersonating or infiltrating Afghan security forces.
Such insider attacks by Afghan security forces have been on the rise, punctuated by the Jan. 20 shooting of four French troops by an Afghan soldier, which prompted France to halt its training program and threaten to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan earlier than planned. The incidents further erode support for the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, and add more complications to the already difficult mission of U.S. forces. I believe that tensions will continue to build as our troops remain in Afghanistan. Unfortunately this is historically the case when US or other forces occupy other countries. Efforts which begin with good intentions normally turn sour and end up leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the occupying forces and the host country. I believe that the biggest cause of these conflicts is cultural differences between the countries and their inability to resolve them.
Conflicts will happen just because of these differences. Theres not a whole lot that can be done about it. The US trains its troops to be sensitive to the habits and customs of the other country and this helps tremendously but it doesnt completely zero out negative contact and events.
While there have been some instances of insurgents secretly joining the Afghan security forces, officials said it is difficult to determine how often that has happened because the infiltrator often remains undetected. Insurgents can easily disguise themselves as Afghan security forces and have been doing so more often, the military said, noting that the attackers simply obtain and wear Afghan uniforms.
Overall, however, officials said most attacks have come from members of the Afghan forces acting intentionally yet independently without any direct guidance from outside insurgent groups. They are generally spurred by personal motivations, grievances, ideological differences or even combat stress.
Until now, Pentagon officials had not released figures on the number of incidents. But the officials said there have been 42 incidents involving Afghan security forces and three others involving private security company personnel. In most cases the assault involved small arms fire.
The best possible solution for this problem is increased training for our troops. This will surely help the situation but commanders are smart enough to know that some troops will provoke aggressive behavior and some of the Afghan security personnel will do the same out of resentment of our being there. Military Ring Express
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