In the latest incident of green on blue attack, on Thursday, two US soldiers were killed in the central province of Uruzgan after an individual in Afghan National Police uniform opened fire on them. Earlier in the day, an Australian soldier was also killed in another attack by the Afghan forces.
Over the past months, there has been a rise in the ‘green-on blue’ attacks in Afghanistan, in which Afghan security forces turn their weapons on US-led foreign troopers. Over 50 foreign soldiers have been killed in the attacks so far in 2012.
The US and NATO claim that the insider attacks were carried out by militants who have infiltrated the Afghan police force, but the Afghan Interior Ministry has rejected the claims.
Press TV has interviewed the Washington-based Investigative Journalist Gareth Porter to further discuss the issue at hand.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Gareth porter why do you think the US is insisting that infiltrators are responsible for these attacks on soldiers?
Porter: Well, the interesting thing about this bit of dustup between the United States’ military or the US-NATO military and the Afghan government is that the Afghan government is now saying explicitly what the US-NATO military was saying a few months ago, which is that they were downplaying the infiltration of the Afghan army and police by the Taliban and suggesting that these insider attacks or green on blue attacks were really just personal vendettas, personal grudges on the part of the Afghan military or police people against their US-NATO allies.
The truth of course is that these two explanations of personal grudges and infiltrations are not mutually exclusive at all and the reality is that these attacks are motivated by grudges, by people who are unhappy with the people that are coming in contact with in the US and NATO military forces but also by the broader context of what they hear and see these forces are doing in Afghanistan specifically for example breaking into people’s homes and taking away the males in these homes and detaining them.
This is one of the things that is widely understood in Afghanistan to be the single biggest grievance against the US-NATO forces and it is not limited just to Taliban families or friends of Taliban, broadly speaking, it is held widely throughout the southern Pashtun area of Afghanistan.
So this explains, to a great extent, why you have people who are agreeing to carry out these insider attacks against the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
These are people who may not like what they have had in terms of interactions with them but they are also upset about the broader political and sociological context of what the US troops are doing to the Afghan society.
Press TV: Exactly and quickly if you can, but the level of the penetration in this case and point of one instant where there was an Afghan intelligence official, who actually, was cited in a green on blue attack.
It is not just a policeman, in other words. So this is getting pretty widespread, is not it?
Well, I think there is clearly a very serious problem for the US and NATO forces that the Taliban has been able to place people within the ranks of the Afghan government in all kinds of positions and in some cases not necessarily placing them in the military, police or intelligence services, but rather making contact with them once they are in those services and convincing them that they should, in fact, carry out insider attacks.
So this is a much bigger problem than simply prearranged penetration of the ranks of the Afghan military and police. It is also they are influenced once they are in those ranks to carry out these attacks.