Scott: They are working together in Afghanistan; U.S. and coalition troops side by side with Afghan forces.
The main U.S. strategy in the war in Afghanistan is to get the Afghans trained to take over all the security in their country by 2014 so that U.S. troops can come home. It is a tough task, remaking security forces that have had problems with corruption, poor training, and many of whom can’t read. And now, a growing number of what are being called “green on blue attacks,” when Afghan soldiers or policemen, or someone wearing the afghan uniforms, turn their weapons on American soldiers. There were five “green on blue attacks” in the last week alone. And so far this year, there have been twenty-seven insider attacks killing at least thirty-four members of the NATO coalition. Compare that to twenty-one attacks that killed thirty-five in all of last year. That means one out of every twelve Americans killed in Afghanistan this year died at the hands of people who are supposed to be our friends.
General John Allen: What we find out was that most of those incidents were either caused by personal grievances or by stress situations of the individual who did the shooting.
Scott: General John Allen, the commander in Afghanistan, insists insider attacks are rare compared to the overall number of troops in what is officially called the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, for short.
General Allen: Every case where one of these occurs, that same day there are tens of thousands -tens of thousands of interactions between the Afghans and ISAF forces that don’t go that way.
Scott: There is still a big international presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. has 84,000 troops there, and there are another 40,000 troops there from other countries. They are working with more than 330,000 Afghan army police forces, all trying to defeat an enemy said to be 20,000 strong.
That enemy is the Taliban, an extremist group which once controlled all of Afghanistan.
The group has issued a statement saying “green on blue attacks” attacks are their responsibility and reflect the mood of the Afghan people.
The stepped-up violence is yet another challenge to plans to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, without leaving the country vulnerable to take over by the Taliban.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.