News

NATO: Stress, Not Taliban, Drive Afghan Insider Attacks

Afghan policemen guard main gate of joint civilian-military base where two British soldiers, part of the NATO forces, were killed, Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 26, 2012.
Afghan policemen guard main gate of joint civilian-military base where two British soldiers, part of the NATO forces, were killed, Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 26, 2012.
Brian Padden

The NATO force in Afghanistan said Monday that attacks by Afghan security personnel on their Western counterparts, while few in a number, have had a disproportionately large effect on troop morale.

NATO says 17 members of the international coalition have been killed in 10 attacks by their Afghan counterparts since January 1. A similar number of Afghan forces have also been killed by fellow Afghan soldiers or police.

The coalition also disputes Taliban claims of responsibility for the attacks.

Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, coalition spokesman, says the number of attacks is actually quite low given that there are 130,000 NATO troops and 350,000 Afghan forces often training together in close quarters. But he says each incident has a disproportional effect, increasing mistrust between Afghan and international forces.

"Although the incidents are small in number we are aware on the gravity they have as an effect on morale," he said. "So therefore we are very carefully looking at every single incident."

Last week three coalition troops -- two British and one American -- were killed by Afghan security forces in different parts of the country. Also in Paktika province last week, Afghan officials said a member of an Afghan militia drugged his colleagues and killed at least nine of them as they slept.

The Afghan Taliban often takes credit for attacks by members of the Afghan security forces, but General Jacobson says in almost every insider attack, the perpetrator was not affiliated with the insurgency.

"Our findings are that the vast majority lie in the individual," he said. "Personal grievances are one of the major causes, plus a number of other cause including stress syndromes on soldiers who are living in a country that has been [enduring] 30 years of war."

NATO is putting a new emphasis on established procedures such as background checks for Afghan recruits, while implementing new security measures such as placing intelligence agents among troops during basic training, and assigning soldiers to guard their colleagues while they sleep.

Security has also been stepped up following the recent killing of 17 Afghan civilians, purportedly by a U.S. soldier, and the inadvertent burning of Qurans at an American military base. The incidents have increased tensions between Afghan officials and the international coalition at a time when cooperation is vital as foreign troops begin withdrawing ahead of a 2014 deadline.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike
April 08, 2012 8:31 AM
The sooner the U.S. leaves the sandbox the better, and our troops will no longer be targets for these "people" no matter who they are. We all know in our hearts what the future of the sandbox is, so who do we think we are fooling? Sometimes the political process leads to a really irrational situation and the unwillingness to admit the mistake leads to more mistakes. Vietnam is the best example.

by: f_moslim@yahoo.com
April 03, 2012 7:09 AM
killing of Nato troops in Afg is turning into a disaster Which is growing tremendously day by day. Resolving this problem, we gotta find out the roots. Many has turned a blind eye on a forgotten fact that afghan forces are getting disappointed by Nato actions reaching nowhere ending the 30-year-old war in Afghanistan. They consider their presence a game which goes nowhere except their countries ruining.

by: f_moslim@yahoo.com
April 03, 2012 4:23 AM
killing of Nato troops by ANSF is turning into a disaster Which is growing tremendously day by day. Resolving this problem, we gotta find out the roots. Many has turned a blind eye on a forgotten fact that afghan forces are getting disappointed by Nato actions reaching nowhere ending the 30-year-old war in Afghanistan. They consider their presence a game which goes nowhere except their countries ruining.

by: Haron
April 03, 2012 12:27 AM
till we stand on our feet or as federalic. US partnership is a must & indeed to be in Afghanistan until ten years if possible. if not possible at least five years are must. becuase they're 100% effectful for Taliban, Al-Qaeda obsolve. & NATO, ISAF & US have to finish Taliban to cut off the hands of Pakistan & Iran from our country.

by: Haron
April 03, 2012 12:08 AM
i see the situation of Afg is in crisis. when we see in Southern & Eastern Afghan forces are shooting the coalliation forces. from another side if this corruptful government doesn't sign strategic partenership with US. then it's an anguish for those who protect from girls & women where they go to schools, universities, environment jobs. & the president is responsible to sacrifices of Pakis & Iran.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs