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Taliban commander targets Afghan forces

Al Jazeera reports on a shift in strategy by Haji Mohammad Dawran Safito, a Taliban commander in the Pech district in eastern Afghanistan, to targeting Afghan security forces instead of Americans.

See Long War Journal coverage: Afghan forces, families are prime target for Taliban, says commander

READER COMMENTS: "Taliban commander targets Afghan forces"

Posted by Lawrence Levine at April 2, 2012 11:59 PM ET:

Interesting. In 2008-2009 saw indications that insurgents (likely HiG or Haqqani) were were using attacks on Afghan security forces to test new tactics and train personnel before using them against US and Coalition Forces.

For example, a 20 May 2009 IED attack in Kabul Province that killed two US personnel in a convoy on the way to Bagram used, according to an Afghan colleague on the scene, wire that was "very thin, like in a washing machine motor."

Our Afghan partners reported that the exact same type of wire was used two weeks prior in an attack on an ANA convoy in the Salang Pass in neighboring Parwan province.

Our media-savvy enemy knew that an attack on Americans would be more likely to make international news and according to our Afghan colleagues, worked very hard to ensure that "high visibility" attacks were well trained and rehearsed.

The shift in tactics - if true and not disinformation - suggests they believe attacking NATO/ISAF is less important than seeking to separate the Afghan Army from the population.

Important that our Afghan partners know that though we are allowing them to take a greater role in their own security and bringing our combat troops home that we will continue to support them in their own defense.