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Training of Afghans halted after insider attacks; vetting reviewed
Question of the Day
“Unfortunately, they probably distrust our guys more than any of their countrymen,” he said. “The Afghans historically sway with the winds. Loyalty goes to who pays the best and who belongs to their tribe or clan.”
The military provided The Times with a list of steps being taken to make force protection, and counterintelligence, more thorough:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered that national army recruits be interviewed by a four-member council represented by the Defense and Interior ministries, the National Directorate for Security and medical specialists.
The security force has banned the sale of uniforms to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Taliban.
Afghan security officials have set up an anonymous hotline for complaints similar to what the U.S. armed forces use with a system of inspectors general.
Afghan soldiers who return from leave must go through the vetting process again.
The Defense Ministry has arrested more than 100 soldiers for carrying false ID cards, as well as an unspecified number suspected of having ties to the Taliban.
The ministry also is looking at establishing counterintelligence chiefs at the brigade level and distributing more lie detectors.
The command previously authorized U.S. personnel to be armed at all times and assigned in-unit bodyguards to keep an eye on the Afghans among American troops.
At an Aug. 23 news conference, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, said about 25 percent of insider attacks are carried out by infiltrators, an increase from an earlier Pentagon estimate of 10 percent.
The military continues to believe that most attacks are rooted in battle stress and disagreements between Afghan trainees and U.S. fighters.
Said Gen. Allen: “The daily pressures that are on some of these troops the nature of our operational tempo, remembering that Afghan troops have gone to the field and they have stayed in the field — and they’ve been in combat now for years — we believe that combination of many of these particular factors may have come together during the last several weeks to generate the larger numbers.”
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By Michael P. Orsi
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