Showing posts with label green-on-blue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green-on-blue. Show all posts

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fighting Daesh in Afghanistan - "It's Complicated"

Achin District, Nangarhar Province

Franz Marty, an independent journalist based in Kabul, examines a recent friendly fire / insider threat incident that took place on 11 January 2018 in Achin district, Nangarhar province. News reports about the event were in the headlines for a few days but in the absence of reporting from the remote location (and very brief comments from USFOR-A) the story soon died. What seems to have happened is that a skirmish ensued with one U.S. soldier being wounded and one or more Afghans (militia or ?) being killed. This was followed by an U.S. air strike on a compound that possibly killed more Afghans. The story is a bit sketchy.

U.S. special operations forces, along side their Afghan SOF counterparts, have been taking the fight to the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) insurgents based in southern Nangarhar for the past couple of years. These ground actions, along with a healthy dose of air support, have deeply hurt the ISKP fighters . . . however, they seem to have a robust replacement pipeline because the group is still very active.

Franz Marty traveled to the remote region to get clarity on the incident but comes away, through no fault of his own, with an incomplete explanation of what actually happened. However, his on the ground investigation reveals the tangled web of politics, militias, and various (and shifting) allegiances found on the ground in local communities of that region of Afghanistan. It also reveals the obstacles in the path of U.S. military members who attempt to understand what is truly happening on the ground.

Fighting Daesh in Afghanistan "It's Complicated", by Franz Marty, February 10, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Advisors and the Insider Threat in Afghanistan

In late 2012 the Afghan campaign by NATO and the U.S. came to a screeching halt for several weeks. Advisors were told to not meet with their Afghan counterparts; partnered units were instructed to stick to unilateral operations, and combat operations were dramatically down-scaled. The cause of this drastic reduction in operations was the significant increase in 'green-on-blue attacks' - later referred to by ISAF as 'insider attacks'. Afghan policemen and soldiers were killing Coalition Servicemen at an increased rate. The increased rate of attacks, if not stemmed, would have a strategic effect. Defense ministers of European countries were calling General John Allen (ISAF cdr) and threatening the withdrawal of their forces if Afghan security personnel continued to kill their soldiers. Eventually a series of steps - Guardian Angels, vetting of Afghan security personnel, cultural awareness classes, situational awareness instruction, force protection measures, etc. - slowed down the rate of insider attack incidents. These measures, once implemented, allowed the Coalition Forces to resume their partnered and security force assistance missions.

This insider threat continues to exist today. The advisors of the many countries working with their Afghan counterparts continue to keep force protection as an integral part of their operational planning and execution. In the Spring of 2018 the 1st SFAB will deploy 36 advisor teams to Afghanistan to work at the tactical level with the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Presumably the advisors are well-trained in force protection measures and have an appreciation of the insider threat.

More Info on Insider Threats

Read the account of one insider attack that took place in Helmand province in August 2012 in "Why  Some Marines Fear Afghan Allies More Than the Taliban", by James Laporta and Rory Laverty, The Daily Beast, February 6, 2018.

Description and Info about the Insider Threat from the ANDSF

News Reports about the Insider Threat from the ANDSF

Afghan War Blog - Posts about Insider Attacks and Threats

Afghan War Blog - Posts about Green-on-Blue Attacks

Statement by General Dunford, ISAF Commander - April 20, 2013 on Insider Threats

Insider Threat References

ISAF Insider Threat Handguide 2.0, June 2014

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Three U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghanistan on June 10, 2017 in Insider Attack

Three U.S. service members were killed in an apparent insider attack in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The killer was reported to be a member of the Afghan Special Service Force (ASSF). He was killed immediately after the attack. One U.S. service member was wounded in the attack. Read a news release on the incident by the Department of Defense, Three U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan, June 10, 2017.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MARSOC Marine Killed in Insider Attack

A MARSOC Marine was killed in an apparent insider attack on September 15, 2014 in Herat province. Strong was attached to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and had served with the Marines since 2003. Read more in "MARSOC Marine killed in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan", Marine Corps Times, September 17, 2014.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Green on Blue Attack

Early reports indicate that an American died in a 'green on blue' attack took place in western Afghanistan on Monday, September 15, 2014. The 'insider threat' against ISAF troops became a headline event in the summer of 2012. Read the ISAF news release on this event. The insider attacks diminished in 2013 as a result of force protection measures instituted throughout the force. 2014 saw a minimal amount of insider attacks - due to force protection measures and the reduced amount of coalition troops left in Afghanistan. The ISAF Insider Threat Guide was published to help Coalition troops reduce the threat of green on blue attacks. Learn more about green on blue attacks.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Green-on-Blue Threat and Guardian Angels

A Canadian correspondent, Scott Taylor, writes about his experience with Guardian Angels in Afghanistan. Guardian Angels are employed to protect NATO military personnel from attacks by members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). These attacks are known as 'green-on-blue' attacks or 'insider threat' attacks. During his visit to Afghanistan in December 2013 he describes the precautions taken against the insider threat while visiting Afghan units in Kabul. Read more in "Allied troops remain wary of Afghan soldiers", The Chronicle Herald, February 16, 2014. Read more about the Insider Threat and read news articles about the Insider Threat.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Insider Threat Still A Danger in Afghanistan

The Insider Threat or green-on-blue attacks is still a huge concern for NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. While 2012 saw the most green-on-blue attacks on record - there were still some that occurred in 2013. And, as we have recently read in the news, 2014 has already seen some U.S. deaths caused by insider attacks. Read more in "Pentagon: Insider Threat in Afghanistan as dangerous as it ever was", Stars and Stripes, February 14, 2014.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two Fort Bragg Soldiers Killed in Green-on-Blue Incident

Two Fort Bragg Soldiers from 3rd Special Forces Group were killed in a 'green-on-blue' attack this week. At least two men wearing Afghan National Security Forces uniforms opened fire on their unit. SPC John Pelham of Portland, Oregon and SFC Roberto Skelt of York, Florida were killed on Wednesday. Both Soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. They died of wounds suffered when struck by small-arms fire in Kapisa province. Read more in "Two Fort Bragg soldiers killed in Afghanistan", Fayetteville Observer, February 15, 2014.

Green on Blue Shouldn't Prompt a US Withdrawal

A commentator blogs about the recent green on blue attack in Kapisa and states it should not cloud our judgement and prompt a zero option attitude on Afghanistan. Read more in "Afghanistan: No Reason for Retreat", The American Spectator, February 14, 2014.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Green on Blue Attack in Kapisa

An insider attack took place in Kapisa province killing two U.S. Soldiers and wounding four others. Read more in "Afghan security forces kill 2 US soldiers, wound 4 in insider attack", All, February 13, 2014.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ISAF Reports Another Insider Attack

ISAF reports that two ISAF members died when attacked by two individuals wearing Afghan National Security Force uniforms. Insider attacks in 2013 were reduced from the large number that occurred in 2012. The attack took place in eastern Afghanistan. See the ISAF news release here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Insider Attack at Special Forces Camp in Jalrez District Wardak Province

Two U.S. Soldiers were killed and a number of other U.S. Soldiers wounded during a green-on-blue attack by a member of the Afghan Local Police at a Special Forces camp located in Jalrez district, Wardak province, Afghanistan. The camp held a Special Forces operational detachment and additional U.S. Soldiers augmenting the SF team. Their mission was to conduct a Village Stability Operations (VSO) mission. The primary aim of VSO is the establishment of governance, development and security at the district level. Part of the security line of operations is the formation and training of a contingent of the Afghan Local Police or ALP. Apparently, it was a member of the ALP who turned on his U.S. counterparts. Also killed in the exchange of fire were some Afghan policemen with several more Afghan police wounded as well.

The attack follows several inflamatory actions and statements by Afghan President Karzai. In the past week he has accused Special Forces units of conducting atrocities in Wardak province. Both the Afghan police and military as well as ISAF have conducted investigations into these allegations and found Karzai to be incorrect. In addition, Karzai stated just a few days ago that the United States and the Taliban were conspiring together to de-stabilize Afghanistan. These perplexing statements by Karzai has confused many observers and angered leading military and political leaders of the United States. One becomes less confused when you factor in that Karzai is playing to the moderate elements of the Taliban in the realization that he will be dealing with them at the negotiating table in the next few years. So he is positioning himself as one who took a hard line against the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two More U.S. Soldiers Killed in Insider Attack at Special Forces Base in Jalrayz district, Wardak Province

Map showing location of Wardak
Two Soldiers were reported killed in an apparent insider attack by members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) at a Special Forces base in Jalrayz district, Wardak province, Afghanistan. ISAF has released a very short official statement on the attack. Initial reports indicate that a number of other U.S. Soldiers were wounded. There were Afghan police killed and wounded in the attack. The attack comes just a few days after President Karzai has demanded the removal of U.S. Special Forces from Wardak province because of alleged atrocities committed by the SF teams and the Afghans they work with. The allegations by Karzai are unfounded and have been refuted by ISAF based on Afghan and ISAF investigations that have turned up no evidence that the alleged actions took place. The attackers were killed by other U.S. Soldiers who responded to the attack. Very little additional details on the green-on-blue attack are known at this time.

Friday, March 8, 2013

CI Training to Afghans Reduces Insider Threat Incidents

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Marine Corps Gen. Mattis said that "green-on-blue" attacks have decreased significantly in 2013 in Afghanistan. The attacks - called "insider attacks" - by ISAF have been reduced because the Afghan security forces have received a lot of training in counterintelligence and have become more vigilant in their efforts to spot disaffected members of the security force and Taliban infiltrators. Read more in "Training Reduces Insider Attacks", Mattis Says", American Forces Press Service, March 6, 2013. Read more news articles on insider threat.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Failure to Follow Vetting Procedures in Recruiting Afghans for Security Forces Contribute to Green on Blue Incidents

On paper the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have a robust vetting process to weed out criminals and insurgents intent on joining the security forces. However, this ANA recruit vetting process is not followed many times due to lack of training, inefficiency, poor work performance, and corruption. A lack of proper vetting means that the insider threat in Afghanistan could rise. Read more in "NATO admits to security failures in Afghan green on blue killings", New York Post, April 2, 2012.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Green-on-Blue Violence in Afghanistan

The occurrences of green-on-blue violence in Afghanistan has captured the attention of the media, public and Congress (and that of U.S. service members). General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently had comments on green-on-blue violence. He indicated that the Afghans will need to do more to prevent these events. Some measures to take place in the future is a stronger more capable counterintelligence effort, better vetting of recruits, and more partnering efforts at lower echelons or at the small unit level. Read his comments in "Dempsey: Afghans Must Prevent 'Green-on-Blue' Violence", American Forces Press Service, March 27, 2012.