Inside Attacks in Afghanistan

The insanity and horror of the war in Afghanistan are worsening. According to ABC News twenty U.S. soldiers have been killed there in the past two weeks. Ten of the soldiers were shot in cold blood by Afghan soldiers or policemen. Another American soldier was killed by an Afghan police recruit yesterday. General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is in Kabul today discussing the problem with U.S. and Afghan officials.

The number of such attacks has increased dramatically, 30 so far this year, compared to 11 in all of 2011.

The military refers to these shootings as ‘insider attacks.’ Previously they were labeled ‘green on blue.’ Whatever we call them, they are a terrifying manifestation of the impossible predicament our troops are facing.

It’s bad enough that U.S. forces are under constant attack by Taliban insurgents. Now our troops are increasingly threatened by our supposed allies in the Afghan army and police, troops we are training and whose salaries we are paying (to the tune of $43 billion since 2002.)

A NATO study claims that the insider attacks are not caused by Taliban infiltration but are the result of personal disputes or outrage. If true this is hardly reassuring. It suggests an extraordinary degree of hatred and mistrust between many Afghan recruits and U.S. troops.

These insider attacks are a dagger in the heart of the U.S. mission. They strike at the core strategy of training Afghan forces to replace our troops. If we cannot trust the troops we are recruiting, how can the mission succeed? How can our soldiers do their job if they have to constantly look over their shoulders?

Why are we continuing to sacrifice U.S. soldiers to this mission impossible? It is time to bring the war to an end, as quickly as possible. The U.S. should immediately declare a ceasefire and begin direct negotiations with the insurgents to reach a political solution.

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