News / Asia

NATO Curbs Joint Afghan Patrols Over Attack Fears

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
x
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
Henry Ridgwell
NATO commanders in Afghanistan are scaling back some joint patrols with Afghan forces, following a spike in the number of 'insider attacks' on international soldiers.

Training and working alongside the Afghan National Security Forces is a central pillar of NATO's planned handover and withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.  NATO says in only some cases 'operational tempo' has been reduced.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the measures are necessary and temporary.

"We remain committed to our goal of seeing the Afghans fully in charge of their own security by the end of 2014.  So that is the bottom line.  The goal is unchanged, the strategy remains the same, and the timeline remains the same," Rasmussen said.

Such measures have been seen before, says Brigadier Ben Barry, a military analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

"What I think this does illustrate though is how very sensitive NATO nations and the United States are becoming to their casualties, and casualties from these insider attacks in particular," Barry said.

Insider attacks, in which rogue Afghan soldiers or police turn their guns on international allies, have claimed the lives of 51 NATO troops this year - 15 in August.
 
British Parliament Member Bob Stewart is a former U.N. commander in Bosnia.

"I think it is about time, from London, we directed that our troops are not necessarily put in the front line ...  Because I am fed up with watching our seriously good soldiers waste their lives, have their lives wasted by people who are meant to be our friends," Stewart said.

Analyst Ben Barry says there is little evidence to suggest the Taliban has infiltrated Afghan forces.

"The Taliban invariably claim responsibility for these attacks and there is good evidence that they will sometimes seek to help the attackers in evading arrest by the Afghan forces or by NATO.  But up to now the evidence has been that very few of these attacks have actually been conducted by Taliban infiltrators," Barry said.

Partnering between international and Afghan forces will continue at battalion level.  Barry says it is the small-scale mentoring that will be affected.

"Where a small A-team of Green Berets [U.S. Army Special Forces] goes and lives in an Afghan village that has decided to renounce the Taliban along with a platoon-sized contingent of locally-raised Afghan police.  Now quite clearly that suspension of those lower-level operations is going to cause difficulties and problems," Barry said.

NATO says the restrictions are also in response to increased tensions across the region following protests against the release of an on-line, low-budget video 'Innocence of Muslims'.  A suicide bombing Tuesday in Kabul killed at least 12 people including Russians and South Africans; an insurgent group called Hezb-e-Islami said it carried out the attack in retaliation for the film.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More