NATO admits security failures in Afghan shootings
By Published: April 3, 2012
Officials with the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan admitted that security procedures failures that might have identified potential insider killers of Western troops before they join Afghan security forces, AFP reports.
Since January 1, 17 foreign troops, including seven Americans and five French, were killed by Afghan personnel in 10 separate attacks, AFP tallied. The incidents, dubbed "green on blue" represent more than one in six of ISAF's 96 fatalities.
Bombs remain the leading cause of death among troops, but more Americans have been shot to death by Afghan forces than by the Taliban this year.
The growing wave of attacks on U.S. and coalition forces by Afghan troops are “isolated,” officials said, and often unexplained incidents that usually occur without a direct link to the Taliban.
As a result, officials plan to enact tighter monitoring on Afghan forces in wake of attacks on troops, such as putting in place measures to gather better intelligence with Afghan partners to detect threats in advance.
Afghan recruits undergo an eight-step vetting process, which includes identification verification, recommendations and criminal background checks; however investigations into the recent killings found lapses, AFP quoted International Security Assistance Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson.
"The identity papers weren't checked properly, the papers that were coming from village elders were not sufficient, drug tests were not taken regularly or sufficiently or something like that," AFP reported, quoting some of Jacobson's examples of failures that might have contributed to shootings.
An Afghan soldier patrols outside of a mud wall compound in Ghorak district, Kandahar province, during a recent joint U.S.-Afghan mission to the remote Taliban-influenced area. It could be a make or break year for U.S. forces in Kandahar, as commanders prepare for a planned drawdown that will begin in earnest this summer with the reduction of 30,000 U.S. troops.
HEATH DRUZIN/STARS AND STRIPES