A member of the Afghan National Security Forces has yet again targeted Coalition personnel. From the ISAF press release:
An Afghan National Army soldier turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in northern Afghanistan today. ISAF troops returned fire killing the shooter. There were no ISAF fatalities. Afghan and coalition officials are investigating the incident.
ISAF did not say if any troops were wounded, but the deputy governor of Faryab province, where the attack took place, said that two US soldiers were wounded in today’s attack, which took place on a base, according to AFP.
Today’s attack took place just one day after another member of the ANSF killed three Coalition military advisers in Herat province. Yesterday’s attack was technically not a green-on-blue attack (where a member of the Afghan security forces kills or wounds an ISAF soldier), but is part of a growing and worrying trend of Afghan security personnel killing and wounding ISAF troops.
Background on green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan
There have now been three green-on-blue attacks reported this month (ISAF as a matter of policy does not report on attacks that do not result in deaths, however this trend seems to be changing). On July 1, three British military advisers were killed by an Afghan policeman in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. And on July 5, five ISAF personnel were wounded in an attack in Wardak.
Afghan security personnel are now estimated to have killed 89 ISAF soldiers since May 2007. To date, 27 of the 89 ISAF soldiers, or more than 30 percent, have been killed this year. These attacks have taken place in all areas in Afghanistan, not just in the south and east.
In May, ISAF commander General John Allen said that about half of the green-on-blue attacks have been carried out by Taliban infiltrators. The Taliban routinely take credit for these attacks.
The rise in attacks against ISAF troops by Afghan personnel takes place as ISAF is seeking to accelerate the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces. The plan calls for an increase in the number of ISAF trainers as well as more partnering of ISAF and Afghan units, and will heighten Coalition troops’ exposure to green-on-blue attacks. The US military has become so concerned with the green-on-blue attacks that it has ordered units to designate “guardian angels” in each unit whose job is to provide security for troops working with Afghans. But the attacks have not abated.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.