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Thread: Green on Blue: causes and responses (merged thread)

  1. #161
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for posting that link, JMA.

    Good find. Key paragraph:
    The strategic drawdown may provide some quantitative relief from the frequency of these attacks, but don’t bet on it because Afghan history is very unkind to retreating foreign forces. Perceptions are critical in this region. If these insider attacks continue and are politicised without intellectual challenge and a rational response through policy, then we run the very real risk of an ill-considered accelerated retreat masquerading as a withdrawal. We may suddenly find ourselves in the same strategic position as we did in Iran in 1978, Lebanon in 1984, and Somalia in 1994.
    I think we can bet the farm on that...

    The bit about perceptions is, I think, a slight misnomer. 'Beliefs' are critical in this Region might be slightly more accurate. One belief is that stuff is settled man to man.

    Which sorta negates the value of UAV weapon strikes...

    ADDED: Heh, we both missed the earlier post, I guess...
    Last edited by Ken White; 09-13-2012 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Addendum

  2. #162
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Six more ISAF troops killed. 2 on the 15th and 4 on the 16th.

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  3. #163
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    This video is worth watching, it may provide some inisights on why some attack. It could also be propaganda.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/15/world/...html?hpt=hp_t1

    I'm not sure what video will appear, you may see a link to several. The one I'm referring to is the interview with the Afghan who actually conducted one of these attacks in 2010 killing two U.S. service members.

    Here is a better link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doiOo...1&feature=plcp
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 09-17-2012 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Add a link

  4. #164
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Bill, sounds about right.

    A man acts out in an act of personal resistance. He then flees and is taken in by the revolutionary Taliban leadership in Quetta. Not planned by the revolution, but rather leveraged and encouraged by the revolution after the fact.

    Of course we don't recognize this distinction within the insurgency of personal/community resistance that is a response to our presence and actions; vice the revolutionary insurgency that is political and a response to our empowering the Northern Alliance into power and then working to sustain them there.

    Instead we focus on "urban vs rural" or "Quetta Shura vs Haqqani," etc. True distinctions, but not particularly helpful in shaping our understanding or more effective solutions. Our blaming these events on lack of cultural understanding is equally true, but largely irrelevant and unhelpful.

    I believe this guy's assessment is correct, however. there will be more of this.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  5. #165
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    US-Afghan military operations suspended

    Most joint U.S.-Afghan military operations have been suspended following what authorities believe was an insider attack Sunday that left six NATO troops dead, including four Americans, officials told NBC News.

    “We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said. So far this year, 51 NATO troops have been killed in these so-called blue-on-green attacks ...
    So are we at the point where force protection matters more than winning, or even holding?
    Last edited by tequila; 09-18-2012 at 01:37 AM.

  6. #166
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    This popped up in CNN today. Seems like a pretty clear case of imbalance in conflict resolution skills between Green and Blue.

    Oceanside, New York (CNN) -- Deployed to a volatile outpost in southern Afghanistan where U.S. Marines routinely face a mix of skirmishes and hidden explosives, Greg Buckley Jr. sensed that an attack was imminent.

    And he knew that it would come from within.

    The 21-year-old Marine was posted to Garmsir in Helmand Province, where he was training local security forces as part of NATO's planned withdrawal in 2014.

    It was during a static-filled phone call to his father over the summer that the Long Island native mentioned a run-in he had with an Afghan trainee while on guard duty.

    NATO releases details of brazen raid on base in Afghanistan


    When friends become enemies The encounter was the first in which the Buckley family's eldest son seemed to sense something was wrong, according to what he told his family in phone conversations and a letter.

    "The guy turned around and said to Greg, 'We don't want you here. We don't need you here,'" his dad said.

    "Greg turned around again and said, 'Why would you say that?'" according to Greg Buckley Sr.

    But the trainee apparently wouldn't relent, repeating the phrases for hours over the course of a night in which the young Marine was on guard watch.

    "Greg said, 'I thought I was going to lose my mind,'" his father said. "Pitch black out, and all he kept saying over and over again is, 'We don't want you. We don't need you. We don't want you.'"

    "It was just tormenting for him."

    The two men then finally confronted each other, yelling until a group of officers separated them, he told his father.

    "One of his superiors came over and had Greg apologize to the guy," said the elder Buckley.

    The 21-year-old agreed and extended his hand, but the man refused.

    About a month later, Greg phoned his father again.

    "He told me if I have to stay here until November... I'm not going to come home."

    Greg also asked his father to prepare to tell his mother and his two younger brothers that he'd be killed.

    "I don't understand," his father said. "Out in the field?'

    "No, in our base," Greg replied.

    4 NATO troops killed in 'insider' attack in Afghanistan

    On August 10, 2012, Greg Buckley Jr. was gunned down by the very forces he had been training, just days after learning that he was to head home early.

    "It was only two days he had left there in Afghanistan," his father told CNN.

    The phenomenon is known as "green-on-blue," due to a color-coding system used by NATO. It has become disturbingly more frequent in Afghanistan, with more than 50 NATO troops killed this year by local forces, the first time that's happened in a single year in the U.S.-led war.

    Last year, 35 people died in such insider attacks, and even less the year before, according to NATO figures.

    The killings have prompted suspensions of training new recruits while eroding the trust between NATO and its Afghan allies.

    The gunman involved in Greg's death attacked from inside his outpost and killed two other fellow Marines, his dad said.

    But Greg Sr. said his son had informed his superior officers that "one day they are going turn around and turn those weapons on us."

    CNN cannot independently confirm that Greg informed superior officers. Calls and emails to NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan were not immediately returned.

    More than a decade after the war began, the Buckley family is now struggling to cope with the loss of its eldest son. More than 2,000 other U.S. service members have been killed in Operation Enduring Freedom.

    "It's not really day-by-day," said Greg's mother, Marina Buckley. "It's more minute-by-minute."

    Back in Oceanside, the Buckley family on Friday attended the town's first home football game, where their fallen son had intended to watch his youngest brother play varsity for the first time.

    "Greg was supposed to be home for this game," said Justin, 17, who wore the number 30 on his back, Greg's old basketball number.

    "I would tell him I love him and I miss him."

    The senior running back, who donned a camouflage jersey along with his team, broke to the outside on Friday for a 25-yard score that helped cement the Sailors' improbable second-half comeback against top-ranked East Meadow.

    After crossing into the end zone, Justin raised his hand to salute -- honoring his fallen brother.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    So are we at the point where force protection matters more than winning, or even holding?
    Winning? Our strategy was never about winning, it was about getting out of dodge with some semblance of honor.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  8. #168
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see, in the sense that the way a ship founders exactly is interesting to a naval architect, how fast things begin to unravel from here. It will also be interesting, in a sort of bureaucratic forensic sense, to see how everybody on our side scrambles to blame somebody else or explain how things are actually going well.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  9. #169
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Dry statistics

    Afghan 'green-on-blue' attacks

    2007 - 2 attacks, 2 Isaf soldiers dead
    2008 - 2 attacks, 2 dead
    2009 - 6 attacks, 10 dead
    2010 - 6 attacks, 20 dead
    2011 - 21 attacks, 35 dead
    2012 (so far) - 36 attacks, 51 dead
    Source: International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) via BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19632779
    davidbfpo

  10. #170
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The expansion of this activity in 2011 does not match the rather steady expansion of general incidents over the last years.

    It should be possible to identify something that changed in 2011 or 2010 as an important influence on the problem.

  11. #171
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The expansion of this activity in 2011 does not match the rather steady expansion of general incidents over the last years.

    It should be possible to identify something that changed in 2011 or 2010 as an important influence on the problem.
    Maybe this? Obama announces Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan June 22, 2011.

    They know we are leaving so they don't have to pretend that they like us anymore. Vast oversimplification, but you never know...
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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  12. #172
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default Endgame strategy?

    Nato says it is restricting operations with Afghan troops following a string of deadly attacks on its personnel by rogue Afghan security forces.

    Only large operations will now be conducted jointly, with joint patrols evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    Nato curbs Afghan joint patrols over 'insider' attacks

    Doesn't really address the inside-the-wire threat.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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  13. #173
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    Maybe this? Obama announces Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan June 22, 2011.

    They know we are leaving so they don't have to pretend that they like us anymore. Vast oversimplification, but you never know...
    Really? They think they won so they double their efforts to kill, including kill themselves?
    Must be some non-European logic, for sure.

  14. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Really? They think they won so they double their efforts to kill, including kill themselves?
    Must be some non-European logic, for sure.
    I'd have to look up the details, but I think it was 2011 when the mentoring mission increased substantially. So, there were a lot more ISAF troops embedded with and training a lot more Afghans.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Really? They think they won so they double their efforts to kill, including kill themselves?
    Must be some non-European logic, for sure.
    Does 'European' logic matter?

    The problem is how many members of ISAF understand Afghan logic?

  16. #176
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The expansion of this activity in 2011 does not match the rather steady expansion of general incidents over the last years.

    It should be possible to identify something that changed in 2011 or 2010 as an important influence on the problem.
    I imagine this might have something to do with it:

    Since 2009, the army has grown more than 56 percent, Hill said. In the past year, it's grown by about 50,000 soldiers, more than 23,000 of them are in training, and the army consistently meets its recruiting goals, he added.


    It's tough to imagine any army growing that fast without loosening vetting standards or adopting a simple "push 'em out" style of training. And that's just the ANA - I can't imagine standards in the ANP, much less the Afghan Local Police.

  17. #177
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Really? They think they won so they double their efforts to kill, including kill themselves?
    Must be some non-European logic, for sure.
    I have to agree with JMA on the logic thing. The way we think does not matter.

    But I also doubt that the announced withdrawal was an important factor. The increase in forces and in mission is probably the largest single factor. If it was, then nothing really changed. The increase is simply mathematical. Increase the number of trainers and Afghans being trained and you increase the number killed.

  18. #178
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    It seems pretty clear to me that this is the beginning of the end in Afghanistan. Once the election is over, expect the timetable to be moved up to next year.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    It seems pretty clear to me that this is the beginning of the end in Afghanistan. Once the election is over, expect the timetable to be moved up to next year.
    Definitely. Strong hints the British drawdown with be far more rapid than previously stated. Soon enough it will be like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

  20. #180
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Perhaps this belongs someplace else, but here I place it for now.

    What if Taliban & Co. and the Pak Army/ISI continue to push this? The object of that would not be simply ejecting us from Afghanistan but ejecting us ignominiously. That would serve the greater purposes of humiliating the west, furthering the Islamo-fascist agenda and stoking the megalomania of the Pak Army/ISI. They could impose upon us conditions in return for not placing us in a position whereby we would be besieged in our big bases, have to run a gauntlet to get out and still end up leaving a lot of materiel.

    I say this because as others have noted, the rate at which these attacks have occurred has increased very substantially in recent months. With that in mind, I don't think it beyond imagination that Taliban & Co may be behind that. If so, they could stop it. Even if not, they still could put a big damper on them by saying they would not take in the killers. But we would have to give something to them and their Pak Army/ISI masters.

    The recent killing of 4 and wounding of 2 SF guys makes me think this may be progressing beyond pissed off ANSF guys getting some back. Apparently 6 ANP officers were involved somehow in a fight with the SF. One died and the others fled and haven't been found. If it was group attack that is very significant and makes me think Taliban & Co are starting maybe to direct things.

    So to me, the US has been backed into a corner and some very decisive things will have to be done. We can't just meander along and pretend that things are going ok enough because 'look how well the spec ops night raids are going' (facetiousness alert, but only partly). We will have to do some actual things. Some things that come to my fevered mind are-basically surrender to Taliban & Co and the Pak Army/ISI, or permanently cut the Karachi supply line and publicly recognize Pak Army/ISI as the enemy and take things from there, or find and bump off Mullah Omar, or publicly partner with India or just turn the whole thing over to them, or a combination, or ten things I haven't thought of.

    The point is muddling along won't do anymore. If I was Taliban & Co and Pak Army/ISI I would push this for everything I could get out of it which will force us to act.
    Last edited by carl; 09-18-2012 at 03:02 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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