On March 11th, two U.S. SOF soldiers were killed and several more were wounded when an Afghan policeman fired a vehicle mounted machine gun at a group of SOF soldiers operating in the Jalrayz district of Maidan Wardak.
The SOF unit returned fire and killed three Afghan police as well as the man who fired the mounted machine gun. The personnel who fired upon the U.S. soldiers were thought to be Afghan National Security Forces since they were wearing the uniforms, but it seems as though they were much more.
According to an ISAF representative:
“Two US Forces-Afghanistan service members died in eastern Afghanistan today when an individual wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform turned a weapon on U.S. and Afghan forces.”
This attack happened exactly one day after the deadline that Afghanistan president Karzai set for all SOF to leave Maidan Wardak. Was this a coincidence? Definitely not. According to the Long War Journal’s Threat Matrix, in October of 2012, Taliban Emir Mullah Omar released an Eid al-Adha message that urged followers to:
“Increase your efforts to expand the area of infiltration in the ranks of the enemy and to bring about better order and array in the work…We call on the Afghans who still stand with the stooge regime to turn to full-fledged cooperation with their Mujahid people like courageous persons in order to protect national interests and to complete independence of the country. Jihadic activities inside the circle of the State militias are the most effective stratagem. Its dimension will see further expansion, organization and efficiency if God willing.”
This attack in all likelihood was an infiltration of the Taliban into Afghan police forces. They are shifting into an even more subversive role and causing ‘green on blue’ incidences to increase at a rapid rate. If it was the Taliban who killed and wounded our SOF brothers then it actually wasn’t green on blue, it was an act of cowardice. How can Karzai make claims that we are breaking the Geneva Convention when we are fighting an enemy who will stop at nothing to eradicate all ‘non-believers’ from the face of the planet?
With the death of two more brave American soldiers, questions need answers: How do we prevent these attacks, who can be trusted, and how long will SOF stay in Maiden Wardak? Unfortunately, we will probably find the answers to these questions when it is once again too late.
(Featured Image Courtesy: guardian.co.uk)