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Sunday, 04 March 2012

More U.S. Troops Killed by Afghans They Armed & Trained

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American soldiers with Afghan translatorAs the Koran burnings in Afghanistan and the deadly uprising that followed dominate the headlines, another important issue — perhaps the elephant in the room — is being largely overlooked: American and NATO soldiers are regularly being killed by members of the very same Afghan police and army they are arming and training. And the number of deadly incidents is on the rise.

Just in the last two weeks, more than a few Americans have been killed by the Afghan regime’s forces they are supposed to be allied with — known as the Afghan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA). Tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars have already been pumped into Afghanistan’s “security” apparatus.

Last Thursday, two more U.S. soldiers became the latest victims of the scheme to arm and train Afghan forces. Staff Sgt. Jordan Bear, 25, and Spc. Payton Jones, 19, were killed by two Afghan soldiers and an accomplice at a joint military base in southern Kandahar, according to officials cited in news reports.

The week before that, two U.S. military personnel were shot in the back of the head by Afghan security forces at the Interior Ministry in Kabul. According to news reports, the killings were a response to the Korans being burned. 

And just two days before that, on February 23, another two American troops were shot and killed by an Afghan soldier during a protest against the Koran burning and the Western occupation. But while the numbers are rising, the killing of U.S. forces with weapons paid for by American taxpayers began long before the most recent uproar over the Islamic holy book.

Last year, for example, in one of the deadliest incidents of its kind, a veteran Afghan military pilot began shooting every American in sight at the airport in Kabul. He killed eight U.S. troops and a civilian contractor. And there are many other similar examples.

“Such fratricide-murder incidents are no longer isolated; they reflect a growing systemic threat,” noted a U.S. military study released last May about the issue. “They are also provoking a crisis of confidence and trust among Westerners training and working with Afghan National Security Forces.”

Among the grievances against U.S. troops cited by Afghan forces were perceived disrespect of local culture and beliefs, civilian casualties, night raids, violation of women's privacy during searches, and the policy of searching and disarming Afghan forces. Past massacres of civilians — many of which have been well publicized — also played an important role in the growing animosity.

Estimates on exactly how many U.S. and other international troops have been slain by Afghan soldiers and police vary. But there is no doutbt that in the last few years, despite incessant official claims of “progress” being made, dozens of American and European troops have been shot to death or blown up by members of the new regime’s “security” forces. Many more have been wounded. According to NATO figures cited in news reports, at least 58 of the alliance’s soldiers were killed by their supposed Afghan “partners” between May 2007 and May 2011. Other estimates place that number much higher. Pentagon data cited by the Associated Press show that, since 2007, more than 75 coalition personnel have been killed by Afghan security forces and over 110 have been wounded.

A recent Washington Post analysis highlighting some of the major incidents since November of 2009 revealed that the numbers are likely greater than NATO has been willing to admit. More than 50 foreign soldiers were killed by Afghan forces or men wearing official security uniforms in just over two years. At least two dozen of those were American.

But of course, it is not just American troops being murdered at U.S. taxpayer expense. Countless Afghan civilians have already been killed, too. And the French military, which has several thousand soldiers in Afghanistan to arm and train local forces, has also suffered multiple casualties at the hands of Afghan security officials.  

After four French troops were killed by an Afghan soldier in January, the French government threatened to stop arming and training Afghanistan’s security forces. Just a few weeks earlier, two French soldiers had also been shot and killed by a member of the Afghan National Army. 

"We are the Afghan people's friends, and we are Afghan people's allies, but I can't accept that Afghan soldiers could fire on French soldiers,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed after the attacks. “If the security conditions are not clearly established, then the question of an anticipated withdrawal of the French army will be raised."

In the United States, lawmakers have also expressed concern that American money and weapons are being used to kill U.S. troops. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said there had been more than 40 attacks by Afghan security forces on the Western military coalition in the past five years.

"Though less than one percent of Afghan forces and security guards have attacked coalition forces, this is 42 attacks too many and the new process must do better," Rep. McKeon said during a recent congressional hearing, noting that the frequency of attacks had “dramatically increased” over the last two years.

And it is getting worse. At least one out of every four coalition troops slain in Afghanistan this year was killed by Afghan security forces. The trend could end up making a mockery out of the U.S. government’s new “strategy” to “win” the war — namely, building up the new Western-backed regime in Kabul. 

"We can no longer say it is a rare danger," former counterinsurgency adviser to coalition forces in Afghanistan and senior fellow Douglas Ollivant with the New America Foundation told the Wall Street Journal. "It threatens the strategy on two fronts: ability to have sufficient trust to partner and mentor, on both sides; and domestic political support."

But even the Afghan soldiers who do not go on killing sprees aimed at foreign forces are ill-motivated at best. Often times they are even working with the armed opposition. And U.S. troops know it.

According to a report by Army Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, during his most recent trip to Afghanistan, he witnessed Afghan military personnel "collude with the insurgency." Other Afghans told him many of the security forces currently being trained by the U.S. military had already “made deals with the Taliban" in anticipation of Western withdrawal. 

If and when the foreign occupation ends — withdrawal is supposed to come by 2014 — it is possible that the weapons and training being funded by U.S. taxpayers could simply lead to a bloodier civil war among various factions. The know-how and arms could also flow to other parts of the world.

Whether the Sharia law-based regime installed by Western forces can actually survive on its own or not remains to be seen. But if it fails — hardly an unlikely scenario, according to analysts — hundreds of thousands of U.S.-trained forces with heavy weaponry will be on the loose in the region. 

Almost 1,800 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far, with over 15,000 wounded. And the end goal remains highly unclear — to the public and to the troops on the ground. President Obama has added to the unease by announcing that his administration was pursuing talks with the Taliban that could see the hard-line Islamists restored to power.

Most Republicans, however, do not really have a plan either. Romney, for example, blasted Obama on the campaign trail after a mother asked what her daughter was still doing in Afghanistan.

"If your daughter is not familiar with the mission that she's on, how in the world can the commander in chief sleep at night, knowing that we have soldiers in harm's way that don't know exactly, precisely, what it is that they're doing there?" Romney asked. Then he claimed the mission was actually to help Afghan forces achieve “sovereignty and security.”

Even as the U.S. government claimed it was exporting “freedom” to Afghanistan, the nation’s last public Christian church was demolished in 2010. The few remaining Christians have mostly been arrested by the government. And because of the U.S.-imposed Constitution that enshrines Sharia, converting to Christianity can be a capital offense. Meanwhile, the notoriously corrupt central government has been quietly attempting cover up Pedophilia among Afghan police.

Making matters worse for the already-demoralized troops on the ground, in recent years, hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars have been flowing toward the Taliban, according to a military report. And according to top U.S. officials, the regime ruling Pakistan — which receives billions in American taxpayer aid — is working with various terror groups like the Haqqani network responsible for killing American troops in Afghanistan.

Incredibly, Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai — installed and kept in power by Western military forces — recently promised he would fight alongside Pakistan if it ever went to war with the U.S. government. "God forbid, if ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan," he said during a televised interview. 

But even before the current decade-long war, the U.S. government was largely responsible for arming, funding, and training the Mujahedin, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently admitted. That coalition of Islamists eventually spawned the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Photo of U.S. soldier with Afghan translator: AP Images

Related articles:

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Poll: Troops Losing Confidence in Obama, Wars

Cover Up: U.S. Funded Afghan Police Drug Use, Pedophilia

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Obama: U.S. Waged Afghan War Incorrectly for Years, Taliban Now Welcome

Military Report: $360 Million Funded U.S. Enemies, Including Taliban

Secretary Clinton Says No Peace Without the Taliban

Karzai: Afghan Regime Would Back Pakistan Against U.S. in War

Russia Threatens to Kill NATO War in Afghanistan

U.S. Funding Attacks on Americans via Pakistan

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U.S. May Be Funding Its Enemies in Afghanistan

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