Rocked by 'Friendly' Attacks, NATO Yanks Afghan Training

With 'green-on-blue' attacks rising, coalition pauses to re-vet recruits
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 5:41 AM CDT
In this March 26, 2012 file photo, an Afghan policeman checks a man entering a police station near the main gate of a joint civilian-military base where two British soldiers that were part of the NATO...   (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq, File)

(Newser) – With NATO forces in Afghanistan struggling to stop attacks from their own allies, training for all new recruits has been suspended while the 27,000 Afghan troops who work with the coalition can be re-screened for insurgency ties, reports the Washington Post. So far this year, so-called "green-on-blue" attacks have killed 45 allied troops, accounting for 15% of all casualties. NATO officials say many of those attacks happened because the push to quickly develop Afghan police and military forces was given priority over proper security.

"We have a very good vetting process,” said one senior official. “What we learned is that you just can’t take it for granted." In some cases, proper background checks on new recruits were not carried out, nor were Afghan forces always issued IDs and required to display them while on base. Special Operations officials say it could take two months to re-vet all Afghan forces, and the training of new recruits could be on hold for a month. But, as of now, lax enforcement of security rules is over, as troops are being told to stay away from Afghan soldiers and police in vulnerable moments, such as while showering and sleeping. “It’s about force protection without endangering the relationship. It’s a true teeter-totter," said one NATO official.

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