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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid