American servicemen are being killed in Afghanistan at an accelerating rate by Afghans who ostensibly are their allies.
These attacks have been dubbed “green-on-blue” incidents, an antiseptic and deliberately mild way of describing the treachery of Muslim natives (designated by the Islamic color green) against our folks (the blue forces). Such murders “inside the wire” are deemed to be so serious a threat that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, went to Afghanistan last week to assess what is being done to prevent them in the future.
That challenge is made considerably harder by the fact that President Obama’s strategy for extricating the United States from the war in Afghanistan is to have U.S. personnel train, advise and otherwise help Afghan army and police units assume responsibility for the war’s conduct as we rapidly pull out. Consequently, Afghans willing to take out Americans have plenty of opportunities to do so — and the latter essentially are unceasingly vulnerable to attack.
Unfortunately, an even bigger factor in our troops’ vulnerability to such violence is the refusal of their chain of command to recognize and understand, let alone effectively counter, the motivation behind it. For example, the commander of U.S. and other foreign forces in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, attributed the recent uptick in green-on-blue attacks to irritability on the part of Afghan personnel performing missions at high operational tempos while sweltering in summer heat and hungry because of the Ramadan fast. The appropriate response? In a Friday op-ed column in The Washington Post, the general declared, “The closer the relationship, the more secure, ultimately, our troops will be.”
Syndicated columnist Diana West has caustically observed, “Like his brothers-in-brass, Allen is all about ideology — the COIN [counterinsurgency] ideology. This Leftist dogma transmuted to the battlefield is founded on the Big Lie of ‘universalism,’ which takes in the absurd but also liberty-threatening belief that all cultures, all religions, all civilizations have interchangeable values and aspirations. The theory is easily disproven, but it remains a commandment of postmodern gospel.”
Pursuant to the Team Obama-approved COIN doctrine, the posture our troops in harm’s way in Afghanistan must adopt is one of doing everything possible not to give offense to the Afghans. In fact, in February, the military distributed to U.S. forces in theater a handy pocket guide titled “Inside the Wire Threats — Afghanistan Green on Blue.” It is all about establishing a “bond of trust” between Afghan army and NATO personnel.
Interestingly, another document, produced for the military’s use in May 2011 by Jeffrey Bordin, a military behavioral scientist, shows why, as a practical matter, that can’t happen. This unclassified “red team” analysis suggested that the problem is, as its title suggests, “A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility.” It found, based on extensive interviews with U.S. and NATO troops, that practices inspired by, condoned or even mandatory under the brutally repressive Islamist doctrine of Shariah — such as the “poor treatment and virtual slavery of women in Afghan society”; the practice of child abuse, including the “raping and sodomizing of little boys”; and the torture of dogs — contributed to a “cultural gap” that alienated U.S. and Western personnel from their trainees and other native counterparts.
As noted by Shariah expert and blogger Andrew Bostom, one of the recommendations (albeit, the 40th out of 58) offered by the red team for addressing this underlying problem, clearly at variance with the COIN party line, was to “Better educate U.S. soldiers in the central tenets of Islam as interpreted and practiced in Afghanistan. Ensure that this instruction is not a sanitized, politically correct training package, but rather includes an objective and comprehensive assessment of the totalitarian nature of the extreme theology practiced among Afghans.”
The Obama administration responded to this red-team analysis and its findings by classifying it. Then, the COIN-compatible pocket guide was promulgated, directing, in the words of the inimitable Diana West, that:
“1) U.S. troops are to walk on eggs and refrain from saying or doing anything that might set off their armed, ‘hair-trigger moderate’ Afghan counterparts: ‘Avoid public rebukes,’ troops are told. ‘Counsel in private jointly with [the Afghan army] chain of command.’
“2) Worse, U.S. troops are ordered to assume the age-old role of the dhimmis, those wretched, self-censoring non-Muslims repressed and stunted by Islamic law: ‘Respect Islam, Koran or a mosque; Afghan women, elders and children. Avoid arrogance; i.e., belief that [International Security Assistance Force] culture is superior to Afghan culture.’ “
Whatever we call such behavior — “politically correct,” “multicultural,” “diversity-minded” or simply “sensitive” — our enemies perceive it through the lens of their culture and, more important, the doctrine that governs it, namely Shariah. Specifically, they understand it for what it is: submission. Following that doctrine, the appropriate response to an infidel enemy’s submission is more violence to make him, as the Koran puts it, “feel subdued.”
Accordingly, if we persist in this submissiveness, far from winning Afghan hearts and minds, we are likely to put not just our troops there at ever greater risk. We will invite our foes to engage in more jihadist violence elsewhere, including here.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.