Attack on the home front

Attack on the home front

The U.S. commander of the security assistance mission in Afghanistan said that Afghan soldiers and police returning from leave may be more likely to carry out future green-on-blue attacks.

In an effort to clamp down on insider attacks in Afghanistan, coalition forces are working with their Afghan allies to track down potential threats hiding in the ranks of the Afghan national security forces.

They are trying everything from re-vetting the entire force of 350,000 Afghan soldiers to looking at how they prepare their soldiers for leave, or vacation, and watching them closely when they return from leave.


The idea is the soldiers are vulnerable to becoming radicalized when they go home and are possibly exposed to insurgents in their community, Army Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of International Security Assistance Forces Joint Command, told reporters at a Sept. 5 Pentagon briefing via satellite link from Kabul .

“We offered to the Afghans that they ought to look at the leave period; that went to them personally from my experience from the United States Army,” Terry said. “I find that my soldiers are most vulnerable as they go out on leave and expose themselves outside the structure of the Army.”

The recent spike in “green-on-blue” or insider attacks by supposed Afghan allies on U.S. and coalition troops has killed 42 U.S. and allied troops this year. At least 109 U.S. and coalition troops have been killed in similar attacks since 2007.

While this is a serious problem, it’s likely more of an issue on the home front than it is at the tip of the spear. Insider attacks were not a problem during the war in Iraq, but the concept of fighting a cunning, invisible enemy is nothing new.

There has been a lot of surprise and disbelief that the Afghan security forces have done a poor job vetting recruits to ensure they aren’t really insurgents. Not to be callous, but this is the same culture in which its people’s standard response to why things happen is “An Shalah” or if God wills it.

It’s not a society full of type-A personalities driven by ambition and a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. On the other hand, it will be interesting if these attacks continue at the current rate in spite of the intense efforts to stamp out insider attacks.

Most commanders, including Terry, already seem to have accepted that these guerilla attacks will continue for years to come.

“My intent is to drive down and defeat this threat; the reality is I think we are going to face this,” Terry said. “I think what you are seeing is an enemy out there that is adaptive. … I think he is very concerned about the growing capability of the Afghan national security forces.”

Pentagon officials maintain that only about 25 percent of these attacks are being carried out by insurgent forces.

Regardless of the cause – personal vendettas or radicalized infiltrators — insider attacks are effective because they provide “the enemy with an opportunity to seize that and try to drive a wedge between the coalition and the emerging capabilities of the Afghan national security forces,” Terry said.

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Maybe the US can help the Afghans set up bases like we do in the US, where US bases have separate homes for the soldiers and their families on military bases. That way the Afghan Army would have on base housing for their forces and their family members

” Terry said. “I find that my soldiers are most vulnerable as they go out on leave and expose themselves outside the structure of the Army.”
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That’s a normal part of life for God sakes!? Time to rethink the strategy.

Great idea

I am retired Army.

Terry sems to think that when I went fishing, took the Boy Scouts camping, went to a funeral or a family reunion, that I was vulnerable. I am sure glad that I never had to work for him.

It would be far simpler to screen our own troops.

Afghans are a proud people it’s hard for them to put up with the continuous racist provocation.

ts very telling that the Afghans who get the closest inside view of our occupation are turning thier guns on it.

Forced relocations of families into prison camps where they can be held hostage will just result in whole units mutinying and slaughtering all the western troops at the base. Whole battalions will go over to the Taliban en-mass.

Our officiers already need armed guards when meeting with thier Afghan counterparts. But nothing will protect them against mass mutinys.

^
We should send you over there to train them, and see what they do to you.

How many lives will we have to lose to to stop training them and come home. Why do we find that 47 is just a!“terrible number”. Will our president apologize to them again for “making them angry” for wanting to kill us and our allies? No more money to their government. Are we the ones paying for the new “investigations” for the 350,000? How many of the investigators are plants also? Bring us home.

“Forced relocations…prison camps…held hostage”? Where did you get such nonsense? Looks to me like Nicky was proposing on-base family housing.

“There has been a lot of surprise and disbelief that the Afghan security forces have done a poor job vetting recruits to ensure they aren’t really insurgents.”

Really? I’m not a bit surprised. Trying to cobble together a 21st century army is a HUGE challenge in a pre-medieval country that has no real sense of national identity, is largely dominated by tribal and regional warlords, and has a history of shifting alliances over the past 30 years based on accommodating or balancing Soviet invaders, Taliban fanatics, Al Qaeda and Arab foreign fighters, Pakistani and Iranian intrigue, and US/NATO occupiers.

The nascent Afghan security forces always been a key center of gravity for the Afghan/US/NATO alliance, and is a classical counterinsurgency focal point. Distinguishing friend from foe (i.e., “vetting” the recruits) in this environment–where there are no reliable birth or identity records for the vast majority of the Afghan population — is an incredibly hard counterintelligence problem. Expectations need to be adjusted accordingly.

But who in their right mind could possibly be surprised by this?

In the tribal system the solution is simple: the clan leader knows your family, and when you dishonor the family they take it out on the family.

In a more anonymous, nation-state system it’s hard to enforce things along traditional rules and mindsets, so it may seem like it is easier to “get away with it”.

It beats using ethnic units and deploying them far from their villages. You may even lose the indiginous advantage of using local troops.

Think Tajik or Hazara troops can get the locals to talk? They may be Afghan, but they’re not your friends, your clan…

Then again, the Shia Iraqi Army probably did alright operating in Sunni areas. Culturally there wasn’t a great divide in Iraq, especially since Saddam tried to break the grip of religious sectarianism at home and went with a more secular and pan-Arab culture space.

As for Afghanistan…hmm..

I’m with you on that — we should never had even issued as much as a band aid to those people as we moved through it, once we reached the other side of the country we should had turned around and cleared it again on our way home still rendering no aid — this they would had understood with no need for translation as a warning to never anger us again unless you want a repeat. They are mideveil and uneducated but understand fear and death. this they would have given some respect to. The way the world looks at us right now is they are willing to loose some folks in order to have the US rebuild them into a better more armed and organized country in which to hate the US from.

“There has been a lot of surprise and disbelief that the Afghan security forces have done a poor job vetting recruits to ensure they aren’t really insurgents.”

Really? I’m not a bit surprised. Trying to cobble together a 21st century army is a HUGE challenge in a pre-medieval country that has no real sense of national identity, is largely dominated by tribal and regional warlords, and has a history of shifting alliances over the past 30 years based on accommodating or balancing Soviet invaders, Taliban fanatics, Al Qaeda and Arab foreign fighters, Pakistani and Iranian intrigue, and US/NATO occupiers.

The nascent Afghan security forces always been a key center of gravity for the Afghan/US/NATO alliance, and is a classical counterinsurgency focal point. Distinguishing friend from foe (i.e., “vetting” the recruits) in this environment–where there are no reliable birth or identity records for the vast majority of the Afghan population — is an incredibly hard counterintelligence problem. Expectations need to be adjusted accordingly.

But who in their right mind could possibly be surprised by this?

Scorched earth tactics backfired on the Soviets, too, Boomer. If we don’t differentiate friends from foes, we’ll make foes of all of them.

Agreed. But calling back home to Daddy or Grandpa is a heck of a way for the military chain of command to enforce military discipline. And sometimes, Grandpa changes allegiances.

we as vetrans and every day americans need to be more ever viliglant on the lookout and report any and all supissious activity no matter how trivial,dont let your guard down be aware of your sounderandings at all times,even when your ill,sick,tired,eating,bathing,and relaxing on r&r remember the life you save may be your own or the ones you love around you have backup,s inplace and put unknown berriers and saftey protocal,s in place.god bless and protect every one of us that serve,s.

“Pentagon officials maintain that only about 25 percent of these attacks are being carried out by insurgent forces.”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!! That defies logic. So you’re saying 75% of the incidents were caused by troops that hated ours so much they were willing to die to kill Americans (most get killed)! Effing ridiculous. That’s as bogus as when Gen Amos blamed the spike on Ramadan fasting.

Someone in authority needs to throw a BS flag!

Depends on where those Shia troops came from. The National Police (federal paramilitary force) worked directly for the Prime Minister and were key to killing or evicting whole Baghdad neighborhoods of their Sunni populations. It took us months to restore the situation which involved bringing Kurdish units down from the north into Baghdad.

Why because you are too scared to go ?

Hardly suprising given the level of racism in the forces.

Despicable and shameful comment, LT. Wonder if you care to retract or clarify?

The good ‘ol Wolf Brigade, as one united used to be called?

I thought it was also Interior Ministry special police units. If I recall correctly, the decision was made to focus on the Iraqi Army over the Civil Defense Corps and other paramilitary units, but it’s been a while…

I didn’t realize that peshmerga were actually employed outside of Kurdistan. Wow.

The fun question is it unrealistic to assume that Afghan troops are disregarding clan alignments and thinking federally?

Guess it’s time for chief political officers and commissars.

Yep, Wolf Brigade was one of those units. The National Police fell under the Interior, but Maliki set up his own command center and sometimes issued orders from his office. We were duped into allowing some of those house clearing missions to kick out Sunnis.

Early on there was the Iraqi Police, National Police, Iraqi Army, Iraqi National Guard, Border Police, and Civil Defense Corps all at the same time. It was an uncontrollable mess. After MNSTC-I was stood up towards the end of 2005 their forces were consolidated and training was formalized.

As far as the Peshmerga, yeah, we had an entire brigade in Baghdad in 2007. The Iraqi government over-promised their contribution to the surge (along with the NPs run amock) so they brought Kurds down to fill in. The irony wasn’t lost on them.

You are discarded by your own nation​.It loves the crippled banks more.
http://​www​.london2012​.com/​p​a​r​a​l​y​m​p​i​c​s​/​m​e​d​a​l​s​/​m​eda

We never learn from history. It is time to leave this worthless country and let them do what they want. We have the ability to target threats to the US if need be without putting our troops at risk. It is not worth another drop of blood or dollar bill. These people will never rise to standards we believe is the norm. There in lies the problem, allow them to develop and grow as they wish not as we think they should. Just imagine hoe all this money could be used right here in the USA. Glod blees the USA and God bless our troops.

Go back to your Maddrassa. That’s the weakest jihadi propaganda line I’ve ever seen.

They had them under Najibullah. I don’t think they liked them very well.

I don’t remember anything about the Kurds ever making it to the media, but it may have slipped through my fingers.

The soviets went in to conquer, we went in for vengence and it should had stayed that way. You dont kiss the boo boo’s of those you want to teach a lesson to.

Well stated. Without question, the best response to this problem, to include the statements from the executinve branch, I have heard yet. Didn’t Alexander have a similiar problem? To paraphrase, he felt it was better to employ them and accept the insurgent risk than to have thousands of combat aged males lining up against him. This adversary has significant influence, ie. Ft. Hood. That being said, justice should be swift and severe.

Racism has nothing to do with it. It’s all about how much money we spend there.

That’s BS, they know exactly what they are doing and who they are doing it to.

The article doesn’t state that they don’t have on-base housing. The article points out that it’s when they return from leave, i.e. returning to their original homes, like their parent’s house, which isn’t on base.

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