US Suspends Training During Re-screening of Afghan Troops

(Credit: Motherjones.com)[/caption]

Last month, IVN published two articles on the subject of Green on Blue attacks in Afghanistan, which have been on the rise since July. In August, Afghan officials launched a program to re-screen all Afghan Security Forces in an attempt to reduce the rising number of Green on Blue attacks. While the vetting is underway, all training of Afghan troops by US soldiers has been suspended until the re-screening of Afghan troops is complete.

The Afghan government claims the attacks on US and NATO troops by Afghan trainees is the work of foreign intelligence organizations. They claim that the perpetrators of the attacks are spies for foreign agencies. This information directly contradicts reports from the US and NATO, which claimed that the attacks are the actions of individual Afghans in response to tension between the troops, as well as individuals influenced by insurgent organizations.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s spokesperson, Aimal Faizi claims:

“The reports presented by the security officials in this meeting blamed the infiltration by foreign spy agencies into Afghan security force ranks as responsible for the rise in the individual shootings.”

However, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has claimed responsibility for the attacks. On a militant website, insurgent leadership posted:

“Many Afghans in the rank and files of the enemy have shown a willingness to help the (Taliban) in a shrewd manner.”

The re-screening process may take upwards of one month as Afghan government officials comb through the paperwork of 350,000+ Afghan trainees. Hundreds of troops have been suspended or released from duty already, and that number is expected to rise. The officials are screening for previous conflicts between trainees and their foreign trainers, ties to foreign intelligence services, and connections to insurgent organizations.

Army Lt. Gen. James Terry, deputy commander of US Forces-Afghanistan, suggested that Afghan soldiers may be using their leave to meet with insurgent forces. Though he admits that no discernible pattern of behavior among the attackers has been found, all three Afghan, US, and NATO officials are eager to dampen the rising hostilities between Afghan and foreign troops.