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Taliban claim sympathetic Afghan soldier killed Australian troops



The Taliban have claimed credit for the Aug. 29 green-on-blue attack in Uruzgan province in which an Afghan soldier killed three Australian soldiers. In a statement that was posted yesterday on a Taliban Facebook page and provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, the Taliban indicated that an Afghan soldier had switched sides and turned on his colleagues.

The statement said that an Afghan soldier named Hekmatullah, "with the rank of lieutenant" and "with feelings and live conscience [emphasis mine]," killed the Australian soldiers. Although the Taliban claimed six soldiers were killed and four were injured, in reality three soldiers were killed.

Additionally, the Taliban indicated that not all Afghan security personnel who turn their weapons on ISAF forces are infiltrators [emphasis again is mine]:

It is noteworthy that the enemy is very disturbed by these attacks by the infiltrating mujahideen and the respectful soldiers in the enemy ranks, which have increased recently.

As Lisa Lundquist and I noted in our report on green-on blue attacks, infiltration of the ANSF, along with the defection of sympathetic or opportunistic personnel, may well play a far greater role in these attacks than ISAF wants to admit. ISAF has claimed variously that infiltration accounts for 10%, 25%, or nearly 50% of the attacks, but then has said that these numbers are only estimates.

In his Eid statement in mid-August, Mullah Omar, the emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, or the Taliban, devoted a significant amount of space to the green-on-blue attacks. He claimed that considerable effort has been devoted to getting Afghan security personnel to turn on their ISAF mentors and partners. Omar said that the Taliban have created the "Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration" department, "with branches ... now operational all over the country," to encourage such attacks. We suspect this statement is probably true.



READER COMMENTS: "Taliban claim sympathetic Afghan soldier killed Australian troops"

Posted by JRP at September 1, 2012 11:14 PM ET:

This tactic is proving very effective in demoralizing our troops on the ground. One also and most regretably has to wonder whether or not the Taliban have managed to export this tactic to U.S. personnel of the Islamist faith serving on military installations Stateside. This is not just discrimination ala Japanese West Coast interment 1942. That psycho psychiatrist proved that infiltration in Stateside ranks can and has occurred. The Taliban/AQ have proven themselves every bit as effective against us with low tech treachery as we have proven ourselves effective against them with high tech tactics. One can only hope that the military brass is not deluding itself the way it feels compelled to delude the U.S. public at large about this insidious threat of "insider" attack.

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at September 2, 2012 2:22 PM ET:

The ongoing brutal murders of ISAF soldiers signify that the U.S. has ceded ground to the enemy on the ideological front. Therefore, we should pull out of Afghanistan ASAP.

Just like Vietnam, we have failed again to defeat the proxies through occupation. But that is only to be expected.

Therefore, pulling out is not accepting defeat, but to rethink and reorient.

This war then becomes much like the last cold war, with Saudi Arabia taking the role of the former Soviet Union.

The real deal is the powerful political Islamic movements based in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran -- called the “Axis of Jihad” in my 2009 book.

The longer we stay in Afghanistan, the more we end up expending our scarce resources, without achieving any strategic goals.

Posted by JRP at September 2, 2012 7:21 PM ET:

@ MM . . . Granted, I have not read your book. Nonetheless, if we pull out of Afghanistan how do we prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a receptive staging area for Al Qaeda's future plans against the U.S. Homeland?

How does the U.S. prevent Al Qaeda from acquiring by Gift, Purchase, or Theft nuclear weapons for use against us?

Posted by JRP at September 3, 2012 1:41 PM ET:

A further point regarding this drumbeat to remove our troops from Afghanistan by 2014. I've always found it peculiar that, whereas the U.S. has been willing for the benefit of other countries to keep our forces stationed in faraway places in perpetuity, when it comes to our own protection, we are always pushing to "bring the troops home". For so long as Al Qaeda remains an enemy committed to our destruction, we should be equally committed to keep armed forces in place, indefinitely, if necessary, to protect ourselves.

Posted by irebukeu at September 4, 2012 9:30 AM ET:

@JRP You ask a fair question but what importance is Afghanistan to the planning of a 9-11 type attack. The nineteen hijackers needed no base of operations for the planning of these attacks. They learned to fly In the UNITED STATES, they learned combat skills, most importantly how to defend against a knife attack in the UNITED STATES. They accessed their money and funding through banks in the USA. Afghanistan only served as the location of the leaders and the coordinators of funding which of course can be done from anywhere.

As to how we stop Afghanistan from becoming a base for future operations............ This might sound odd but I think as far as Afghanistan goes I would much prefer that China, India, Kyrgyzstan Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan find a solution to this problem

Posted by Maverick at September 5, 2012 12:06 AM ET:

Pulling out is definitely the wrong answer. It only show weakness for the west and embolden them to continue there jihad. Stay the course, it will take time but we will win the battles and the war. After 911 I said this war will take 10 to 20 years and so far I have been right

Posted by JRP at September 5, 2012 10:15 AM ET:

@IBK . . . I don't agree with the premise or premises for your assertions, but that is not the point. If I'm not right, and I certainly don't think I am the fount of all wisdom, then what is the answer to achieving prevention of future attacks? What in your statements is going to achieve that end? What is the West, and more particularly the United States, to do? What you say seems to be a prescription for just a "What will be will be." or Que sera sera mentality. The War on Terror is a "just war" in the sense that we are for once defending ourselves. We are not fighting to free South Koreans, South Vietnamese, Kuwaitis, etc. If we are not going to stay the course to win the WoT for our own benefit, who is going to do it for us? Nobody. I pray I'm wrong, but when we see those mushroom clouds rising over NY WDC LA etc. we will have only ourselves to blame.

Posted by Maverick at September 7, 2012 1:51 PM ET:

Pulling out is definitely the wrong answer. It only show weakness for the west and embolden them to continue there jihad. Stay the course, it will take time but we will win the battles and the war. After 911 I said this war will take 10 to 20 years and so far I have been right