Joint US-Afghan operations scaled back following attacks
NATO has scaled back operations and the Pentagon has suspended most joint-field operations with Afghan forces in an attempt to lower the risk of “insider attacks”.
In the second order that curbed contact between foreign troops and their Afghan partners, NATO said it has scaled back operations with members of the Afghan National Security Forces and policemen in an attempt to lower the risk of insider attacks and reduce local tensions over an anti-Islam film that prompted protests in Afghanistan.
So far this year at least 51 international troops have been killed by supposed Afghan allies in “insider attacks”. The latest insider attack occurred on Sunday when several Afghan men in police uniform killed four US soldiers and wounded two others at a checkpoint. Such developments have fractured the trust between NATO troops and their Afghan allies.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has announced that operations with Afghan troops will now be restricted. CBS news reported that the Pentagon has “suspended most joint-field operations with Afghan forces because so many Americans are being killed by the men they are training,”
Lately, coalition troops numbering roughly 100 soldiers have routinely conducted operations such as patrolling or manning outposts with their Afghan counterparts. Under the new rules, issued on Sunday by Lt. Gen. James Terry, such operations are no longer routine and require the approval of the regional commander.
According to observers, the directive is seen as a setback for ISAF and could jeopardise the US-led coalition’s goal, after an 11-year-long war, to get Afghan forces ready to take over security from foreign forces by the end of 2014.