In a sign of how well things are going in Afghanistan, NATO and US troops are designating guards for any time they come into contact with the Afghan security forces they’re supposed to be training.
U.S. and NATO soldiers have been ordered to take extraordinary precautions against being shot by Afghan troops, including designating “guardian angels” to keep watch at joint bases around the clock, according to a senior military official.
Any time a group of Western soldiers is gathered on a joint base to exercise, train or even sleep, one member of the unit is required to be armed and on alert for possible fratricide attacks, the official said, describing the new requirement.
In addition, soldiers working in headquarters buildings or as advisors in Afghan ministries have been told to move their desks so that their backs are no longer facing the door, said the official, who spoke anonymously because he was discussing sensitive security measures.
Some soldiers have been given permission to carry weapons into certain Afghan government buildings where they were not allowed to be armed in the past, the official said.
So because of so many incidents of fragging, we have to change the feng shui of the US military in Afghanistan. I have an idea for how to stop all these friendly fire incidents – get the hell out of the country, instantly removing all the targets!
Seriously. 1/3 of all the deadly attacks on US soldiers have come from these kinds of friendly fire incidents, often carried out by members of Afghan security forces, including the Afghan police. Troops are literally training their own killers. And for what purpose?
The fifth iteration of U.S. strategy has failed. The right blames this on the Obama administration’s unwillingness to provide enough troops, even though the president tripled the number who were deployed when he came into office. It’s the same old, same old story: More money and more troops and longer stays will get the job done—trust us. The military guys who were supposed to understand Afghanistan so well—men like Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Gen. David Petraeus (now at the increasingly militarized CIA)—seem not to understand it at all.
When will this finally be recognized for one of those dumb wars that the president has famously said he is against? How much longer will it be before the troops are brought home from their impossible mission? When half U.S. fatalities come from attacks by the forces that Washington plans to make responsible for Afghanistan’s security by the end of 2014? Three-fourths?
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