Battleland

Semper Infidelis

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Marine photo / Cpl. Reece Lodder

An Afghan policeman, second from left, mans a checkpoint with a pair of U.S. Marines earlier this year in the Garmsir district of Helmand province. That's where a 15-year-old "tea boy" killed three Marines on Aug. 10. A rash of such "green-on-blue" killings, where Afghans kill their U.S. and allied trainers, is making such mentoring increasingly difficult.

Of all the horrible “green on blue” killings that have happened recently in Afghanistan, perhaps the most horrific took place in Helmand province on Aug. 10. That’s when Aynoddin, who like many in that country goes by a single name, slaughtered three Marines as they worked out in their makeshift gym.

All of the discussion of vetting Afghans falls apart in the Washington Post‘s reconstruction of the event over the weekend. There was no vetting of this killer: the 15-year old was the so-called “tea boy” of Garmsir police chief Sarwar Jan, who shared a base with the Marines:

For years, Marines and other U.S. officials said, they had heard local residents complain about Jan’s poorly kept secret — that he invited boys to bases often shared with U.S. troops and engaged in sexual misconduct. Officials say it was the primary reason he was dismissed from a previous posting in Now Zad, another district in Helmand…

Jan denies that he has done anything improper. “I’m not fond of young boys,” he said after being released from Afghan custody this week. He was later detained again by Afghan intelligence agents. In southern Afghanistan, it is not uncommon for men to sexually exploit boys. The practice, called bacha bazi, has been on the rise since the Taliban regime collapsed.

Incredible. As in unbelievable. As in, how could the Marines have allowed this to happen?

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