Afghan Spies' New Target: Afghan Troops

As attacks from inside mount, Afghans take precautions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2012 9:43 AM CST
Afghan soldiers stand to attention during the second phase of a transfer of authority ceremony from the NATO- led troops to Afghan security forces in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, Jan. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

(Newser) – Afghanistan's spy agency has a new target: Afghan troops. With attacks on US and Afghan troops by Taliban infiltrators on the rise, the National Directorate of Security is launching an ambitious spying program designed to identify any threats. In addition to the previously reported "special reconnaissance group" that will monitor soldiers who are on leave, the directorate will embed spies in units, monitoring soldiers every step of the way, from recruitment through deployment and beyond, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Every soldier has to become an informer," the Afghan defense minister said. The NDS is also implementing additional precautions, such as assigning armed NATO guards to protect Afghan officials whenever they meet with Afghan military personnel. "It's a dangerous society, and we have an enemy that's announced this as a tactic," says one NATO commander, "so we'd actually be irresponsible if we don't take these kinds of steps."

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