Monday, April 30, 2012

Obama administration not reporting all Afghan attacks against U.S. and coalition forces

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops, the AP reported on Monday. This latest report is consistent with an earlier report from the AP, which - despite the phony explanations [on the lack of tranparency] offered by U.S officials - is indicative of the Obama administration's efforts to conceal the facts so as not to raise any red flags with regards to the President's exit strategy, including his ongoing strategy of trying to make nice with the Taliban.

Let's begin with the latest report:
The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or foreign solider is killed by an Afghan in uniform. [Editor's note: It should be noted, though, that the Pentagon's casualty announcement often omits the fact that the Americans were killed by their supposed Afghan allies; more on that later.] But The Associated Press has learned it does not report insider attacks in which the Afghan wounds — or misses — his U.S. or allied target. It also doesn't report the wounding of troops who were attacked alongside those who were killed.

Such attacks reveal a level of mistrust and ill will between the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan counterparts... The U.S. and its military partners are working more closely with Afghan troops in preparation for handing off security responsibility to them by the end of 2014.

In recent weeks an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of American soldiers but missed the group entirely. The Americans quickly shot him to death. Not a word about this was reported by the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is formally known. It was disclosed to the AP by a U.S. official who was granted anonymity in order to give a fuller picture of the "insider" problem.

ISAF also said nothing about last week's attack in which two Afghan policemen in Kandahar province fired on U.S. soldiers, wounding two... The two Afghan policemen were shot to death by the Americans present.

Just last Wednesday, an attack that killed a U.S. Army special forces soldier, Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Brittonmihalo, 25, of Simi Valley, Calif., also wounded three other American soldiers. The death was reported by ISAF as an insider attack, but it made no mention of the wounded — or that an Afghan civilian also was killed.

The attacker was an Afghan special forces soldier who opened fire with a machine gun at a base in Kandahar province. He was killed by return fire.

The insider threat has existed for years but has grown more deadly. Last year there were 21 fatal attacks that killed 35 coalition service members, according to ISAF figures. That compares with 11 fatal attacks and 20 deaths the previous year. In 2007 and 2008 there were a combined total of four attacks and four deaths...

Mark Jacobson, an international affairs expert at the German Marshall Fund in Washington and a former deputy NATO senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, said attacks of all types are cause for worry.

"You have to build up trust when working with partners, and years of trust can be destroyed in just a minute...; it threatens the partnership" Jacobson said.

Until now there has been little public notice of non-fatal insider attacks, even though they would appear to reflect the same deadly intent as that of Afghans who manage to succeed in killing their foreign partners...

In addition to 10 fatal insider attacks so far this year, there have been two others that resulted in no deaths or injuries, plus one attack that resulted in wounded, for a total of 13 attacks. The three non-fatal attacks had not previously been reported...

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, said... "a number of soldiers" have been arrested for activity that might suggest a plot, such as providing information on army activities to people outside the military, he said. Some have been dismissed from the Army, but he did not provide figures...
Last month, I cited an AP report that said "the Pentagon's casualty announcement" on at least 5 U.S. soldiers - who were killed in recent months - omitted the fact that the Americans were killed by "their supposed Afghan allies".

I noted then that - while the investigation into the recent killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier has been discussed at length by President Obama and his administration - including a discussion by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about a possible death sentence for the aforementioned U.S. soldier - we've heard very little from this administration about the investigations into the cold-blooded murder of our soldiers by Afghan soldiers; and, no mention of death sentences for the Afghan murderers.

Moreover, we've heard a great deal of outrage from Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, about the Afghan casualties, but we haven't heard much outrage from our own administration about the killing of our soldiers. WHY?

In any case, this administration is clearly concealing the facts. The reason for this concealment, as I noted last month, is due to the fact that Obama's [politically riddled] 2014 withdrawal deadline [Exit Strategy] is premised on the notion that the U.S. military can successfully hand over the security and control of Afghanistan to the Afghan forces, many of whom are Taliban sympathizers, who possess utter contempt for the U.S. and the U.S military. Hence, Afghan culpability in the killings of U.S. soldiers has been omitted from the Pentagon's casualty announcement"...; it's simply politics at its worst......

Related Posts: Taliban see Victory as inevitable, Afghan soldiers hooking up with the Taliban, as Obama facilitates exit strategy ahead of 2012 election

Obama reaches out to Mullah Omar, Mullah Omar reaches out for more destruction

Bin Laden files show the obvious: Al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in close contact

7 U.S. soldiers killed by Afghan soldiers - No outrage from the White House? Just obfuscations?

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