Showing posts with label insider-threat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label insider-threat. 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, November 5, 2017

An Insider Attack: FOB Connolly (Feb 2012)

One of the principal threats to a U.S. military advisor providing training, advise, and assistance to a foreign military force comes from that force itself. An 'insider attack' is when a member of the foreign force being advised turns his weapon on a U.S. advisor. Sometimes called 'green on blue' - these insider attacks cause great harm to the advising effort.

Sunset view of TOC at FOB Connolly, Afghanistan
(photo by SSG Christopher Allison, 17 July 2009)

In 2012 in Afghanistan there were a large number of insider attacks conducted by Afghan police or army members against U.S. and NATO forces. These attacks resulted in over 60 deaths that year - accounting for 15% of Coalition deaths. In the late summer and early fall of 2012 NATO and U.S. forces in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) significantly curtailed operations for several weeks to reduce tensions and decrease the number of deaths from these 'green on blue' incidents. 'Partnered' and 'advising' missions were put on hold. When missions did resume it was at a reduced pace with careful consideration given to the insider threat and mitigating measures that provided greater safety to advisors; but, in many cases, reduced the effectiveness of the advising effort.

Throughout the many years of the U.S. involvement in the Afghan conflict one can find cases of insider attacks but 2012 was a significant year. While the incidents of green on blue attacks peaked in the late part of 2012 the early part of the year saw a number of attacks as well.

One incident that illustrates how an insider attack can take place happened on February 23, 2012 on Forward Operating Base (FOB) Connolly in western Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. FOB Connolly was a small U.S. outpost located 1 1/2 hours drive southwest from Jalalabad. This was a joint base - with an Afghan kandak (battalion of about 400 men) and an American company-sized unit (Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment) with attachments - for a total of approximately 120 U.S. personnel. The attached units included MPs, EOD specialists, civilian contractors, a HUMINT element, and others. In addition, a 12-man Security Force Assistance Advisor Team (SFAAT) from the 101st Airborne Division was present on the small base. The Cav company was 'partnered' with the ANA kandak while the SFAAT was 'advising' the ANA kandak.

A few days earlier the Koran burning on Bagram Air Field took place that caused widespread discontent and demonstrations across Afghanistan. FOB Connolly was not spared the Afghan reaction to the burning. The small FOB saw crowds in the hundreds gathering outside its gates destroying structures and burning vehicles beyond the protective walls of the compound. It was during one of these demonstrations that two U.S. Soldiers from a military police platoon died in a attack by an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier from within the FOB. Learn more about this incident in the online article and podcast below:

Memorial for two victims of insider attack FOB Connolly

Listen to a Podcast about the Green on Blue Attack at FOB Connolly:

The military police platoon leader, CPT Jannelle Allong-Kiakabana, is interviewed about the attack by The Spear - a podcast on military topics presented by the Modern War Institute at West Point. Listen to her account of the incident and the aftermath in Podcast: The Spear - Green on Blue, November 2, 2017.

Read more about the Green on Blue Attack at FOB Connolly:

CPT Seth Hildebrand, "Insider Attacks: Repairing a Damaged Relationship", Infantry Online, Jan-Mar 2014. The XO of Comanche Troop describes the attack and the aftermath.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Insider Attack Wounds Seven U.S. Soldiers - June 17th

An insider attack occurred on Saturday, June 17, 2017 on Camp Shaheen in northern Afghanistan. An Afghan soldier wounded seven U.S. service members - reportedly using an RPG. He is reported to have been killed during the incident. Resolute Support HQs released information about the attack on Twitter and in a news release stating that "Seven U.S. service members wounded, evacuated for treatment. Insider attack Camp Shaheen, Mazar-e Sharif under investigation."

Camp Shaheen is the headquarters base for the 209th Afghan National Army Corps with responsibility for all of northern Afghanistan. It is located about 20 minutes drive directly to the west of Mazar-e Sharif - one of the largest cities in northern Afghanistan. Train, Advise, and Assist Command - North, headed up by the Germans and staffed by member nations from NATO, is located to the east of Mazar-e Sharif by about a 10 minute drive on Camp Marmal. Many of the advisors working with the ANA travel one to several times a week between Camp Marmal and Camp Shaheen on day trips - using either ground convoy or a short helicopter flight.

This was the second insider attack by an Afghan soldier in a week. 2012 was the worst year for insider attacks with over 60 NATO members killed in 'green on blue' incidents in Afghanistan. Learn more about insider attacks in Afghanistan.

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.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Afghan Security News

Kunduz CIVCAS Event. An airstrike took place during the recent attack on a Taliban position in Kunduz city where two American Special Forces Soldiers died. The airstrike hit a building(s) where senior Taliban leaders were in - and also some civilians (many children). Some estimates say over 30 civilians were killed. Read more in "U.S. general pledges investigation on Afghan air strike casualties", Reuters, November 5, 2016. See also "NATO and government forces are increasingly responsible for Afghan civilian deaths", The Washington Post, November 3, 2016.

Australian Woman Kidnapped. According to some initial reports (Tolo News) an Australian woman employed by an NGO was kidnapped at gunpoint on Saturday night (5 Nov 2016) in Kabul.

Hand-Holding at FOB Gamberi. Learn a little bit about what it is like to be an advisor to the Afghan National Army's 201st Corps in eastern Afghanistan. See "Texas troops aiding effort to advise Afghan military", My San Antonio, October 31, 2016.

Senior al-Qaida Ldr Killed by Airstrike. The US says that Farouq al-Qahtani, who had long-standing ties with Osama bin Laden, was killed in a precision air strike in October. (The Guardian, November 4, 2016).

ALP, Uprisings, and Militias. In the northern province of Takhar there is a mix of armed groups that exist in addition to the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. Read more in "Afghanistan tries to clean up its militias, both legal and illegal",  LA Times, October 31, 2016.

Green-On-Green Attacks are Up. The occurrence of attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against other members of the Afghan army or police is rising. Read "Wave of Afghan-on-Afghan Insider Attacks Hits Afghan Army",,  October 31, 2016.

Army NCO Considered for MoH. An Army non-commissioned officer is being considered for the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in eastern Afghanistan in 2012. Read "We weren't out there looking for awards", Stars and Stripes, November 4, 2016.

Former Serviceman Dies in Afghanistan. A former Navy SEAL - Brian Hoke - died in Afghanistan. Hoke was from the Leesburg, Virginia ara and a 1996 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He left the military in 2002 and worked for the U.S. State Department with many deployments overseas. He is survived by his wife and three children. Info from "Virginia Serviceman Dies in Afghanistan", NBC, October 31, 2016.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Afghan Security News Update (20161002)

Nangarhar Province: A ISIS Enclave. The Islamic State attempted to set up base areas in several provinces within Afghanistan; but it's success was largely limited to Nangarhar. A writer from the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) in "Descent into chaos: Why did Nangarhar turn into an IS hub?", AAN, September 27, 2016.

From Frying Pan to the Fire. Nangarhar residents are speaking out about the cruelty of the ISIS enclave. Read "From the Taliban Frying Pan to the Islamic State Fire", by Heather Barr, Foreign Policy, September 27, 2016.

Pakistan Attempts to Plug Illegal Border Crossings. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is remote, sometimes desert, sometimes mountainous and is extremely porous. The two countries share a 2,600 kilometer border that has several hundred irregular crossing points. Pakistan is building some outposts to try and halt some of the smugglers and 'terrorists' who cross unofficially. (Voice of America, Sep 27, 2016).

Training Foreign Air Forces a "Core Mission". The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, recently called the training of foreign Air Forces a core mission of the US Air Force. He recently visited Afghanistan and was worried when told that being a U.S. Air Force trainer in Afghanistan wasn't a 'good job posting'. Read more in "Dunford: US Air Force Should Incentivize Foreign Training Mission", Defense News, September 26, 2016.

Afghan Medevacs Overworked. The heavy casualty rate experienced by the ANDSF during the Summer Campaign 2016 has seen the Afghan Air Force medevac system stressed. Read more in "One Week. Hundreds of dead and wounded. How Afghan forces are struggling with heavy casualties", The Washington Post, September 30, 2016.

Afghan AWOLs in U.S. Seven members of the Afghan military have gone 'absent without leave' in the United States in the month of September. All of them were attending military training in the United States as part of the International Military Student program. Read more in a Fox News report (Sep 27, 2016).

NATO Troops Injured by IED. According to some news reports four Romanian troops and an Afghan interpreter were injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Checkpoints: Still Hindering the ANDSF. According to the commander of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan the high number of checkpoints maintained by the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army are caused by poor leadership and politics. It appears that the 'Checkpint Reduction' campaign waged by Resolute Support advisors last spring has been relatively ineffective. Read more in "Checkpoints Continue to Plague Afghan Security Forces", The Diplomat, September 27, 2016.

Insider Attack Kills 12 ANA. Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in their sleep last week by fellow comrades in an outpost near the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.  Two soldiers joined up with the Taliban after conducting the insider attack. (The World Post, Sep 27, 2016). See also a story by Radio Free Europe, September 27, 2016.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Security News

What is Close Air Support? A recent article tells us what CAS is. Read "What Close Air Support Is . . . And Isn't!"Fighter, February 10, 2016. Learn more about CAS in Afghanistan.

US Airpower Used in January 2016 in Afghanistan. In January 2016 there were 128 weapon drops by US aircraft in Afghanistan; the most for January in two years. In Iraq and Syria there were 2,695 weapons drops by US aircraft. So where is the priority? Once again Afghanistan takes a back seat. Read "Comparing Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria", Air Force Times, February 10, 2016. See also a related news story entitled "With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes", Reuters, February 10, 2016.

Video - AAF. On February 11th President Ghani attended a showing of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) aircraft at Kabul airport. Resolute Support Hqs provides a one-minute long video showcasing the various aircraft posted on YouTube. Watch A Show of Strength by the Afghan National Airforce, February 12, 2016.

Predators of Jalalabad. Read about the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron Detachment 1's mission in Afghanistan in "Jalalabad Predators provide 24/7 overwatch in Afghanistan", Khaama Press, February 8, 2016.

Shoffner on ANDSF. BG Wilson Shoffner, the deputy chief of staff for communications for NATO's Resolute Support Mission, briefed reporters via video conference from Afghanistan on Feb 11, 2016. He said that Afghan forces need to develop four capabilities to be successful - develop a readiness cycle, reduce the number of checkpoints, make leadership changes, and fill their ranks.

No big news here with this video / transcript from the General. The Afghans still have difficulties in planning tactical operations; never mind develop a readiness cycle. We taught them long ago to set up check points - big mistake on our part and a hard lesson to unlearn - because it is easier to set up a checkpoint (and collect "taxes" on civilian road traffic) than it is to take to the hills and chase the bad guys. We have known for years about the leadership problems in the Afghan police and army but we don't use our leverage (our money) to get the ministries to fire incompetent and corrupt Afghan leaders at district, provincial, kandak, brigade, corps, and national level. The filling of the ranks has always been a problem - "ghost soldiers" (and policemen) will continue to be a problem when you have bad leadership -  and desertions will continue to plague both the police and army as long as units in the remote areas are not supported by their leadership, live under terrible living conditions, are exposed to constant combat, don't receive pay, and are continually outclassed on the battlefield by the Taleban. So, once again, no big news here.

You can read the transcript or watch the video by

Video - Testimony on ANDSF. On February 12, 2016 Defense Department officials testified at a hearing on capital hill before the House Armed Services Committee on Oversight and Investigations of the status of U.S. efforts to train and assist the Afghan National Security forces. Hosted by C-SPAN, 2 plus hours).

"Work in Progress . . . " On February 12th DoD witnesses testified to a U.S. House committee on Afghanistan. A DoD News Release provides some details of the testimony. Read "DoD Officials Describe Afghan National Defense Forces As Work in Progress", DoD, February 12, 2016.

Five Challenges Seen by SIGAR. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction recently testified before the House Armed Services Committee on February 12th: 1) Drawdown of troops have impaired the ability of the U.S. to advise and mentor the ANDSF, 2) reported strength of ANDSF is questionable, 3) assessments of ANDSF capabilities and effectiveness never effective and now getting worse, 4) lack of capability to monitor Afghan govt (MoI / MoD) use of on-budget funds, 5) and is the U.S. conducting oversight of management of U.S. funds to develop the ANDSF. You can read the prepared comments at the following link:

New Pub. DoDD 5205.82, Defense Institution Building (DIB), Department of Defense Directive, January 27, 2016. Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides direction regarding the planning, managment, and conduct of DIB by DoD; and establishes the DIB Coordination Board. Probably a good reference for those advisors working at MoI and MoD at the ministerial level.

Fighting in Sangin District . . . Again. Reports indicate that Sangin district located in the southern province of Helmand, Afghanistan is at risk of falling once again this year to the Taliban. Read more in "Sangin on verge of falling back into Afghan Taliban hands"BBC News, February 7, 2016. See also "Taliban are close to overrunning Sangin where 106 British soldiers died"The Telegraph, February 8, 2016. Some Afghan news outlets say that five security force members were killed on Saturday, Feb 13th.

Kunduz Residents Fearful. Last fall the Taliban managed to infiltrate Kunduz city and, for a short time, occupy the provincial capital. The residents of the city are worried about a Taliban return. Read more in "Kunduz Residents Live in Fear of Taliban's Return"The New York Times, February 6, 2016.

Tarin Kowt at Risk. It appears that the Afghan insurgents are getting the upper hand in many districts around the former Australian military base in Tarin Kowt. Australia forces completed their withdrawal from the Uruzgan province at the end of 2013. Insurgents have increased their freedom of movement and generally contain the ANDSF to their bases and checkpoints. With the lack of intelligence assets (ISR) and air support previously provided by the Coalition forces they Taliban now realize they can move around the terrain with impunity. Read more in "Afghan insurgents gaining control of territory around former Australian base in Tarin Kowt", ABC News (Australia), February 10, 2016.

Baghlan Province - Heavy Fighting. News reports indicate that there was heavy fighting between the ANDSF and the Taliban in central Baghlan. Residents say that the ANDSF are indescriminately shelling Pashtun homess.

Former PGov Kidnapped. Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, the former governor for western Herat province of Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Islamabad. (ATN News, Feb 13, 2016).

US Embassy Warning. On February 9th the US Embassy in Kabul warned its citizens in Afghanistan that insurgents were planning to attack foreign guest houses in the capital city of Kabul. (Voice of America, Feb 9, 2016).

Zonal Chiefs of Police Get More Power. According to one news report the zonal police commanders will enjoy new powers. This news came during a ceremony for the newly-appointed 707 Pamir Zone police commander in Mazar-i Shariff in northern Afghanistan. The intent is to ensure increased coordination among the various security pillars in each of the country's regions. Read more in a news report by Pajhwok Afghan News, Feb 10, 2016.

Insider Threat Incident? An Afghan police officer was killed, in what might be a case of an insider attack, after firing on coalition troops near the main entrance of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries in Kabul on Tuesday. The NATO force soldiers returned fire, wounding the gunman, who later died in a hospital. (Reuters, February 10, 2016).

Uigher Militancy - Just Next Door. Although they share a very small border (the Wakhan Corridor)  the countries of Afghanistan and China share a common problem. One of insurgents. China is facing an Uighur insurgency. Read more in "Growing Uighur Militancy: Challenges for China", Eurasia Review, February 5, 2016. The Wakhan Corridor is an isolated part of Afghanistan - read more here in "What Life is Like in the Most Isolated Corridor of the World", Conde Nast Traveler, February , 2016.

Royal Gurkha Rifles to Afghanistan. The Gurkhas from 2nd Battalion are heading to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of the UK's enduring support to the Afghan government. Their mission is to protect NATO military and civilian advisors working in government ministries, as well as UK advisors based at the Afghan National Army Officer's Academy. Read "Gurkhas Prepare for Afghan Deployment", Forces TV, February 11, 2016.

Electricity - New Tactic? A shortage of electricity is the result of insurgent activity - blowing up the pylon towers that hold the transmission lines providing electricity to Kabul and other areas of Afghanistan. Read more in "More Afghan Electricity Towers Destroyed, Raising Fears of New Battle Tactic", Radio Free Europe, February 11, 2016.

Suicide Attack on ANA Bus MeS. Three Afghan soldiers died and many more were wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying members of the Afghan National Army in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan on Monday, Feb 8th. Read "Deadly Suicide Blast Hits Afghan Army Bus", Voice of America, February 8, 2016.

Senior Taliban Leader Dies. Mullah Rahmani, a senior member of the Taliban leadership council, has died according to a Taliban announcement on Tuesday morning. (Tolo News, Feb 9, 2016).

Dynamics of Taliban Succession. Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) examines what may happen when the Taliban leadership changes out. Read "The New Taleban Deputy Leaders: Is there an obvious successor to Akhtar Mansur?", AAN, February 10, 2016.

Taliban's Intel Chief Kidnapped. News reports say that the Taliban's intelligence chief and deputy was kidnapped in Quetta, Pakistan in separate incidents . (Pajhwok Afghan News, Feb 7, 2016).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Security News

Instructor from 8th SOK on rifle range
Desertions and High Turnover Hurting ANDSF. Every year 1/3 of the Afghan National Army is replaced - soldiers exit the army replaced by recruits with 3 months of initial training. In addition, the army and the national police are suffering high desertion rates from posts where supplies, ammo, food, and pay are scarce. Read more in "Desertions deplete Afghan forces, adding to security worries", Reuters, January 18, 2016.

Helmand Province Update. Afghan forces are fighting to hold off the Taliban in three Helmand districts. (Reuters, Jan 19, 2016). In the meantime, General Phil Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visited Helmand province and met with the newly appointed command team of the 215th Afghan National Army Corps. He had kind words to say about the new ANA commander; very little to say about the bleak security situation in the 215th Corps's area of operations. Read "Making a difference: ANA 215th Corps command team lead the way", NATO, January 20, 2016.

Insider Attack. Nine Afghan police officers were killed in an insider attack in the southern Urozgan province on Monday, January 18th.

U.S. Targeting ISIS. According to a recent news report the White House has given the Pentagon the legal authority to target the Islamic State in Afghanistan. (The Wall Street Journal, Jan 19, 2016). See also a report by Military Times, Jan 20, 2016.

Suicide Attack in Kabul on Wed. A suicide car bomb (or motorbike) went off on Darul Aman road near the Russian embassy. At least seven killed and twenty wounded. A minibus carrying staffers of Kabul Tolo TV may have been the intended target. Read "Kabul car bomb near Russia embassy", BBC News, January 20, 2016.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Inside the TAA Mission in Afghanistan

The columnist Franz-Stefan Gady provides us with an inside view of the NATO Train, Advise, and Assist Mission in Afghanistan. He spent some time with the TAAC-South advisory team in Kandahar learning how they conduct their mission. Of note are his observations about the significant use of Guardian Angels to prevent or mitigate insider attacks by Afghan security force members, the reduced footprint of the advisory effort, and the difficulty of how to measure the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces. In addition, the article stresses the importance of the effort in eight areas of focus - called the "8 Essential Functions" by Resolute Support HQs. It is interesting to note that one of the advisors profiled is a 1LT - mostly likely (unless former enlisted) on his first tour of duty in combat - and advising Afghan officers senior to him in rank, age, experience and with many years of combat in Afghanistan. That, of course, says something about the U.S. advisor selection process! Read "How NATO Advises Afghanistan's National Security Forces", The Diplomat, December 22, 2015.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Insider Attack? - Two RS Members Killed

In a possible insider attack (sometimes called green-on-blue) two U.S. Air Force airmen were killed early on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 on an ANDSF compound in Helmand province. They were members of the 21st and 23rd Special Tactics Squadron. The attack took place near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan. The incident is being described by Afghan officials as a case of mistaken identity - when a U.S. special operations element was returning to base during nighttime hours after completion of a movement (or mission). The Department of Defense released the names of the two airmen in a press release - "DoD Identifies Air Force Casualties", U.S. DoD, August 27, 2015. Read a news release by Resolute Support HQs.

Learn more about the insider threat:

Insider Threat News Reports:

ISAF Insider Threat Handguide 2.0

Insider Threat Publications and References

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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Investigation MG Greene Insider Attack Complete

The investigation into the insider attack on MG Harold Greene on August 5, 2014 is now complete. The U.S. Central Command public affairs office has released a statement about the completed investigation available here. You can access the reports here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inquest Into Insider Attack Against Diggers

An inquest is underway in Australia concerning the death of three Australian military members on Patrol Base Wahab in Afghanistan. The soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in August 2012. This time period was plagued by a rash of insider attacks - killings of ISAF military members by personnel in the Afghan National Security Forces. Read more in "Diggers ill-prepared for Afghan attack, inquest told", The Australian, October 15, 2014.

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.

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.