Afghan soldier and teacher kill 2 ISAF soldiers in south

An Afghan soldier and a teacher opened fire on NATO troops in Kandahar province today, killing two soldiers before being killed in return fire. Afghan security personnel have killed seven International Security Assistance Force soldiers in the past 10 days, while the Taliban have killed six ISAF troops during the same time period. Already this year, Afghan security personnel have killed 13 ISAF troops.

ISAF confirmed in a press release that the two soldiers were killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan.

“Two individuals, one believed to be an Afghan National Army service member and the other in civilian clothing, turned their weapons indiscriminately against International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two ISAF service members,” the ISAF press release stated.

The ISAF soldiers were killed in the district of Zhari, a former Taliban stronghold in Kandahar province, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. One of the shooters was “an ANA [Afghan National Army] education corps member, appointed by the Karwan Company,” the news agency stated.

“In retaliatory fire, coalition troops killed the attacker and an ANA soldier. Another soldier was injured,” an official told Pajhwok.

Today’s murder of ISAF troops is the latest in a rash of killings by Afghan security forces. Four other US soldiers and one Albanian soldier have been killed in other attacks in Kabul, Nangarhar, and Kandahar, since Feb. 20. The attacks have prompted ISAF to withdraw its personnel from the Afghan ministries and tighten security at bases where ISAF personnel are mixed with Afghan troops and police.

On Feb. 25, an Afghan intelligence sergeant executed a US Army officer and a US Air Force officer at their desks in a high-security area inside the Interior Ministry in Kabul. The suspect, who had attended a Pakistani madrassa, walked out of the ministry without being detained after shooting the two officers in the back of the head, and is still on the loose.

On Feb. 23, two US soldiers were killed when an Afghan soldier in Nangarhar turned his weapon on US forces at a base during protests. The Afghan soldier escaped into the crowd.

And on Feb. 20, one Albanian soldier was killed in an ambush by Afghan policemen in Spin Boldak in Kandahar. Eleven Afghan policemen were detained after the shooting.

In the past 10 days Afghan security personnel have killed more ISAF soldiers than the Taliban. According to ISAF press releases, three ISAF soldiers were killed in an IED attack in the south on Feb. 21, and another three were killed “during an operation in western Afghanistan” on Feb. 20.

Afghan security personnel have killed “around 70 members of the NATO force … in 42 insider attacks from May 2007 through January 2012,” Reuters reported, based on statistics provided by the US Department of Defense. Thirteen of the ISAF soldiers, or almost 20 percent, have been killed in the last seven weeks, according to press releases issued by ISAF.

ISAF has not disclosed the number of incidents where ISAF soldiers are wounded by ANSF personnel, or the attacks on ISAF personnel that do not result in casualties. In an inquiry to ISAF by The Long War Journal, the response was that the “statistic is classified.”

“[A]ttacks by ANSF on Coalition Forces…either resulting in non-injury, injury or death….these stats as a whole (the total # attacks) are what is classified and not releasable,” Lieutentant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, ISAF’s Press Desk Chief told The Long War Journal. Cummings said that ISAF is “looking to declassify this number.”

Inquiries as to why the overall statistic is classified went unanswered.

The increase in attacks against ISAF troops by Afghan personnel takes place as ISAF is seeking to accelerate the transition security responsibility to Afghan forces. The plan calls for an increase in the number of ISAF trainers as well as increased partnering of ISAF and Afghan units, and will increase Coalition troop’s exposure to green on blue attacks.

ISAF press releases documenting the murder of ISAF troops by Afghan security personnel in 2012:

March 1, 2012:

Two individuals, one believed to be an Afghan National Army service member and the other in civilian clothing, turned their weapons indiscriminately against International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two ISAF service members.

Feb. 25, 2012:

Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members.

Feb. 23, 2012:

An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in eastern Afghanistan today, killing one service member. [Note this was later revised to two soldiers killed.]

Feb. 20, 2012:

An individual wearing the uniform of the Afghan Uniformed Police turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing one service member.

Jan. 31, 2012:

An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against an International Security Assistance Force service member in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one service member.

Jan. 20, 2012:

Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army.

Jan. 8, 2012:

An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Nic says:

    Time to leave those animals to their fate.

  • Paul T says:

    Hearts & Minds?
    My own tells me to stop wasting taxpayers $$, declare victory against Al-Queda & come HOME.

  • JRP says:

    The Afghan people host the Taliban; the Taliban host Al Qaeda; Al Qaeda is out to destroy America. So is it America’s strategy to rely upon an Afghan National Army to protect us from AQ? Either we are going to eliminate this withdrawal by 2014 nonsense and defend ourselves or we are going to go through another round of 9/11 attacks. If we could beat in the field an enemy as tenacious as were the Japanese in WWII, then we can beat the Taliban & AQ; we just have to commit our national will to doing the job. Make no mistake about it, AQ is the United States’ existential threat.

  • donowen says:

    What’s amazing is not that this is happening, its that there is not more of it. The Taliban must have hundreds buried in the security forces ready to act. The Koran affair is only a pretext to activate a few of these guys for PR. We are at war with these people-we will continue to kill them and they will continue to kill us. To paraphase Patton, ” your job is not to die for your country rather make that poor bastard die for his”…. not much has changed.

  • Eddie D. says:

    Why are we screwing around with these people, let’s just do them all and be done with this biggest opium den in the world. Torch the entire country and be done with it. I wonder if they are scared to light it because it would get the entire world high.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    I am sick of this! We need to be watching these Afghan soldiers like hawks and if there is even a hint of disloyalty or of an impending attack, we should shoot first and ask questions later…pure and simple.

  • Neo says:

    Infiltration is always an ongoing concern in a war like this. With an Afghan National Army in the hundreds of thousands there is plenty of opportunity to infiltrate. The Taliban & ISI have to worry about infiltration every bit as much as Afghan National & NATO forces. You don’t think the CIA tracks Taliban targets in Waziristan from ten thousand feet up, without a good deal of help on the ground?

  • James says:

    Bill, this whole Stanley McChrystal strategy of “win hearts and minds” or “population-centric” has been nothing but a catastrophe.
    You don’t win wars by “winning hearts and minds.” You win wars by defeating the enemy.
    It’s time for the statement that, “They that harbor terrorists must share in their fate” to resonate and have meaning.

  • JRP says:

    Fully concur with James. We’ve got to defeat this enemy in the field. If it takes resumption of the draft to do it, so be it. Rather spend my tax dollars on draftees than on Afghan Army and Police personnel.

  • Elsie says:

    As usual, commenters on the story are beating their chests like gorillas. Bomb them here, bomb them there. Men, women, children, who cares? After that let’s do the same in Iran? Who cares?
    I admit I initially did support McChrystal’s ‘winning hearts and minds’ but that didn’t last long, especially in view of how few average citizens were gaining from the effort and how much wasted money it involved. One of the most indications that efforts to gain support from the Afghan people was doomed was hearing from US contractors, US military men and women serving in Afghanistan, and from Afghan people who had lived in exile prior to 2001 how they despise the Afghan people. On each of the nine trips I took there between 2004 and 2009 I heard awful derogatory comments about the very people they were supposedly to help.
    I feel enormously sad that members of the US and NATO military have been killed and hurt on the job. My condolences to their families.

  • TLA says:

    Actually, Elsie, it’s necessary. If you don’t like the realism that comes from commentors’ posts here, go look at your news somewhere else.

  • Jim Smith says:

    Just wait until after the report on Quran burnings comes out. Did someone not know this is an Islamic theocracy?

  • Villiger says:

    This war was lost the minute Petraeus caved in to Obama’s pressure in his Oval office mtg setting a drawdown deadline beginning 2011.
    Prior to that, Obama had already demonstrated he was out-of-his-depth over the AfPak War by omitting Pakistan altogether from his 6-month (!!!) strategy review declared at West Point Nov 2009.
    While Bush was the wrong President for the wrong War, Obama has been, and is, the wrong President for the Right War. That is why he was so keen to demonstrate that he was in charge when bin Laden was killed. Fact remains that he has made a right mess of AfPak by fighting half a war in an half-assed way. More naive and less resolve.

  • Villiger says:

    Elsie, one can understand the troop’s frustration when you’re commanded to a strategy that is doomed to fail.
    Hearts and minds is fine when one is assured of the confidence of being in control. But the US has never been in control, especially of its lovely “ally” Pakistan. If you’re barking up the wrong tree, you’re going to have your ass at least nibbled at, if not blown away.
    There is nothing wrong with your average Afghan lay-person except you can’t command his respect if you keep allowing Pakistan to run little circles around you, in full display, for all to see.
    Global support for this war is so low, simply because in 10 years there is so little to show for it.
    Being election year nothing fantastic is going to happen here. We’ll have to wait and see in 2013 whether there is any change of course. In the meantime you can hold your politicians responsible for the costs, human and otherwise.

  • JDAMafpak321 says:

    I know it isn’t PC, but there are so many more days that I agree with Eddie D. and think the US should go to a scorched earth policy with these people. They don’t want us there and continue to kill and maim our troops and there OWN people. There is no end in site. Burn it all down, level it all out.

  • Villiger says:

    Eddie D and JDA, i simply don’t get it. The Pakistanis are fingering you and you want to blow away Afghanistan?
    Btw, if you scorch Afghanistan, you still won’t have access to the sea. So why not take Baluchistan and make the Baluchis happy at the same time. Won’t scorching whether its in Af or Pak or both require a more robust supply line? Sort out Pak and Af will resolve itself.

  • dave says:

    Couple of points as I see it:
    The bomb ended WWII.
    We would have never ‘defeated’ the Japanese, it not for the Emperor announcing surrender. So, unless we can get Mo to show up (and if he did, we prolly wouldn’t like what he said)
    So absent the bomb or Mo showing up, chances are slim that the radicals will change.

  • Eric says:

    We cannot ignore the reality that the broken culture and civil affairs in Af-Pak will take more than a century to fix with constructive support from the west and a solid military hold over the masses by both the ANA and the Pak Army. Rule of Law and transparency in governance are huge undertakings for these backward peoples. We see atrocities committed by various groups and by individuals from every stripe – daily in Af-Pak. We will see these atrocities for decades to come. A few Korans were burned owing to poor judgement, not intended to express any feelings or beliefs, and the atrocities have been directed at ISAF specifically with greater frequency. No need to over-react. And no point trying to ignore how broken the societies are, or how impossible the situation will continue to be for many many years hence. It has sucked, it presently sucks pretty hard, and it will continue to suck for the foreseeable future.
    We will not bomb them all into the stone age. They are already living in the Stone Age With Cellphones.
    We will not fully withdraw and disengage from Afghanistan, nor will we cut off all aid to them or to the Paki’s. We will continue to train and protect them, and to wage a battle against terror, against corruption, and against crime, the best we can with a more limited budget for at least the next 20 years. And it will suck. Sad, but that’s just how it is.

  • TLA says:

    Whilst a reminder of Hiroshima would do the area well, and tsake their history books beyond the self-proclaimed glory I suspect it holds, the fallout proximity would have to include the acceptance of China and Russia.
    At least Islam is alien to communism, and we might find a tacit agreement (without worries about ‘civilian’ deaths and the media (which is definitely a capitalist weapon)).

  • sports says:

    @dave…you r so niave…the “bomb” only ended the war against Japan many months earlier. Come Man! Where’s your intelligence?


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