Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to Avoid or Mitigate the Insider Threat

News reports indicate that an exchange of gunfire took place between U.S. troops and Afghan National Security Forces in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, April 8th. Early reports say one U.S. Soldier has died and at least and perhaps almost seven U.S. Soldiers have been wounded. In addition one ANSF is has died. The incident took place after a high level meeting between Afghan governors, senior Coalition and Afghan officers, and U.S. diplomatic officers. (Read more in a news report, The Washington Post, April 8, 2015).

The incidents of insider attacks peaked in the late summer of 2012. This was a major concern and as General Allen (then COMISAF) put it at the time - insider attacks were a strategic threat to the coalition. Much was done by ISAF to mitigate the insider threat to include distribution of an Insider Threat guide, slowdown of partnered operations, a temporary pullback of advisory duties, and implementation of counterintelligence practices. Many observers thought the majority of the attacks were because of arguments between the ANSF and the Coalition troops or cultural missteps by Coalition troops. The real causes of the insider threat are difficult to determine - Taliban infiltration of the ANSF, pressure by the Taliban on ANSF measures, cultural misunderstandings, arguments, and other factors certainly play a role. Most insider attacks see the assailant killed or escape; so there is usually little opportunity to interrogate the assailant. Attacks subsided during 2013 and 2014. This was due to a number of factors: 1) improved vetting of the ANSF, 2) a decreased level of partnered operations, 3) improved force protection measures utilized by SFAATs, 4) adoption of the Guardian Angel program, 5) improved cultural awareness training of advisors, and more.

Learn more about the insider threat.

Insider Threat in Afghanistan

Insider Threat References

Insider Threat News

Insider Threat Handguide 2.0

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