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

  1. #281
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Question So what has changed or unique about Afghanistan?

    Thanks Davidbpro ...

    So that begs the question: "what is unique about this time?" Is it the nature of the mission - a complete cultural overhaul? Is it our attitude? Is it the fact that we want to be their friends rather than their conquerors?

    I do remember something about the uprisings with the Bangladesh in 1857 that had a cultural overtone. ( http://bangladesh2000.com/bdall/uprising1857.html) Not sure anything else really compares.

    Iraq and Afghanistan make a nice "compare and contrast" as far as green-on-blue goes. Not really sure what the answers (multiple) are. Heck, not sure I am even asking the right questions.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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  2. #282
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default More on non-Afghan 'green on blue'

    Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon
    Sorry, but have not been keeping up. Does anyone have statistics for green-on-blue attacks from Iraq? ... from any other conflicts outside Afghanistan? How about green-on-green from Iraq?Thanks
    A "lurker" has assisted from their extensive first-hand knowledge and reading. In Rhodesia there was one recorded incident of 'green on blue' when a Selous Scout member defected to the nationalist cause, killing the other patrol members, i.e. an ex-nationalist who joined the Scouts defected again. The African members of the RSF, especially the Scouts, were very well rewarded and treated well - so minimising the risks.

    In Algeria there were no instances of 'green on blue', this was put down primarily to the French being ruthless, so those locally recruited and there were tens of thousands knew the consequences of turning their guns inwards. Look on the web for the story of the Harki's, many of whom the French did not evacuate and there were more regular, non-French units - not only from Algeria.
    davidbfpo

  3. #283
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default History and the shooter ain't interviewed

    A "lurker" has responded to my RFI, drawing on their experience and knowledge of non-Afghan 'green on blue':
    Vietnam had lots of problems with Vietnamese troops attacking Americans, though they didn't make the news that the ones in Afghanistan -- sad as they are -- have made. In one incident (recorded in the archives) a whole advisory team was pulled out because of the danger from the local "friendly" troops. I've heard other stories. Iraq had some, but I the ones that come to mind were insurgents dressed in American or Iraqi uniforms when they attacked Americans, not Iraqi soldiers who did. I lived on an Iraqi base for two and a half years or more and had no problems, though I was always a little concerned when I was somewhere without my weapon and no Americans in sight.
    Secondly, returning to Afghanistan, any research and analysis is degraded by the lack of any living shooter being available for interview - either they die at the scene, die later in the follow-up or simply escape - sometimes then appearing in a Taliban video.
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  4. #284
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The root cause of green on blue attacks - by an Afghan

    A short article by an Afghan journalist, who blogs whilst in the USA on:http://www.afghanlord.org/

    I am pretty sure this is the first Afghan comment on the issue I've seen; excluding the Taliban and officialdom.

    Taken from his article:
    The basic cultural characteristics of Afghans are based on a hierarchy of respect and care for family, clan and tribe. Considering this simple fact, it is very easy to understand why Afghan police soldiers would become rogue and turn their guns against NATO troops. Most of those rogue soldiers became lethal enemies after losing a member of their families through NATO airstrikes. If someone is killed as a result of an accidental NATO bombing, it is likely that he or she has family left behind. The family’s pride is wounded and someone in the family must bring the pride back....

    Another reason motivating some members of the Afghan police forces to turn against NATO troops is the continuation of night raids....According to ISAF Data, night raids have killed over 1,500 Afghan civilians in less than 10 months in 2010 and early 2011.
    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensec...n-blue-attacks
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  5. #285
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Lest we forget, painful though it is

    i rarely cut & paste from SWJ responses, but the comment by 'RantCorp' has three "gems" from historical, Western experiences. First and I admit this didn't feature in my looking back at history:
    The Indian Mutiny of 1857 being the mother of all green on blue attacks in this neighborhood. However what is often overlooked is that the Mutiny was mercilessly put down by forces which were comprised 80% native troops.
    In Vietnam 'blue on blue':
    In VN after records started being kept from 1969 the incidence of ‘fragging’ ran up to 500 a year with 10% being fatal. This record was only concerned with attacks using fragmentation grenades. One can only speculate how many ‘wild’ bursts or ‘negligent’ discharges which resulted in fratricide were done with varying degrees of malice.
    In WW2 with US paratroopers 'blue on blue':
    What surprised him on D-Day and still startled him 40 years later as he recounted the events was some individuals didn't even hit the ground before they were shot dead by their comrades.
    Link:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/vsoalp
    davidbfpo

  6. #286
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The ANA is fragile

    On SWJ now awhile ago Gautam Das contributed 'The Afghan National Army in 2014', which is worth reading and has some pointers for this thread IMHO. His bio (shortened) states:
    The author was in the Indian Army from 1968 to 1991, an officer of the infantry..he has helped train Afghan Army officers of an earlier Afghan Army
    He starts with:
    It took the British in India a full century of trial-and-error (1757 – 1857) to finally come up with the organisation of a native army with which India could be kept stabilised for their needs. The first instance of a serious shock actually caused the local army that they were most satisfied with, the East India Company’s Bengal Army, to completely dissolve in the Mutiny of 1857.

    By contrast, the US believes that in the mere 10 to 11 years since its entry into (or invasion of) Afghanistan in October 2001, it has hit upon the best possible model for a new Afghan National Army (ANA) to turn the security of the country over to by the end of 2014
    The ANA is now about 43 percent Pathan (Pashtun), 32 percent Tajik, 12 percent Hazara and 10 percent Uzbek, with the rest made up of smaller ethnic groups, which is approximately the percentages of these communities in the Afghan population. Any spirit of camaraderie among different ethnic groups of new recruits within the ANA is very new...

    (Much later).....most worryingly, can an ANA of near-illiterates (the rank-&-file has 86 percent illiteracy), of various often antagonistic ethnic groups be turned into a cohesive modern army after a mere 15 weeks of recruit training? This is about one-half or less of the time the Pakistan Army takes to turn an educated young recruit, from the same or similar human communities, into a disciplined professional soldier in an army based on the ethnicity-based regimental system.
    Link:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...l-army-in-2014
    davidbfpo

  7. #287
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default An Afghan Soldier’s Journey From Ally to Enemy

    A NYT article based on interviews, including contact with the ANA soldier who in May 2012 killed a US soldier in Kunar Province:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/wo...pagewanted=all

    Not seen this before:
    many senior coalition and Afghan officials are now concluding that after nearly 12 years of war, the view of foreigners held by many Afghans has come to mirror that of the Taliban. Hope has turned into hatred, and some will find a reason to act on those feelings.
    davidbfpo

  8. #288
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The anatomy of green-on-blue tensions in Panjwai

    A very interesting article, that ends with an optimistic passage:
    "We have a pretty good relationship [with the cops] around here," explained one of the US soldiers afterward. "We don't have many problems."

    First Lieutenant Cummings.....echoed the assessment: "For the most part, it's easy to work with [Afghans], you just walk in and they're happy to see you, happy to talk with you...[But the Afghan cops are] usually hesitant to go on patrol with you, unless you have a really good relationship with them, and that just comes with time ... if you go in there and sit down and have a conversation with them every day."
    Link:http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...y_of_green.php
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  9. #289
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default

    A key fact that ISAF leadership always downplays is that Green on Blue attacks track along with all other forms of enemy attack in Afghanistan, peaking as fighting season peaks and fading as fighting season fades.

    I would think that personal quarrals rooted in cultural misunderstanding would stay fairly constant throughout the year.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (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)

  10. #290
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Scattered reports of deaths within Kabul ANA Officer Academy (aka 'Sandhurst in the sand'), apparently after an argument between an ANA soldier and others. With a senior German officer injured and a US soldier killed.

    Links:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/wo...tack.html?_r=0

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28659874
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  11. #291
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default US Major General killed

    Highest ranking US officer killed since WW2 (excluding "friendly fire"), from ABC TV, very speculative about circumstances and whether it was planned:http://abcnews.go.com/International/...yvA7Rc.twitter
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  12. #292
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Via John Schindler's Twitter:
    Latest: Kabul media are reporting that the 15 wounded in today's attack incl 7 US (1 a BrigGen), 5 UK, 1 German, 3 Afghans (incl 1 general).

    "We are investigating but it appears that an Afghan army officer opened fire." -- GEN Mohammed Afzal Aman, G3 @ Afghan MoD, told AFP
    Before today:
    n recent months, the number of insider attacks has dropped significantly as protective measures were continued and fewer international troops worked directly with Afghan forces.

    In June, two coalition servicemembers were wounded in a suspected insider attack at a police station. In February, two U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed and four others were wounded when a suspected member of the Afghan security forces opened fire on them. And in April, an Associated Press journalist was killed and another seriously wounded when a police commander opened fire on them inside a heavily guarded Afghan security forces base in eastern Afghanistan.

    Link:http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-e...ttack-1.296839
    davidbfpo

  13. #293
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    The US General RIP is:
    Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul. U.S. officials said five of the eight wounded Americans are in serious condition; a number of British soldiers were also wounded.
    Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1

    An official bio when in his last post:http://usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/271929.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-05-2014 at 10:46 PM.
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