Battleland

“Green on Blue” Attacks Trigger Changes on the Ground

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COMBAT OUTPOST GARDA, WARDAK PROVINCE — The jumble of Afghan soldiers stood in the shade of a wall, waiting for orders to prepare for drills from their American trainers. Suddenly the thump of an explosion sent them scattering. The U.S. soldiers grabbed their rifles and a sergeant ordered everyone to a bunker. The Afghans do not listen. Most poked their head over the wall, trying to get a look at the blast. Just 300 meters away a dark brown cloud from an improvised explosive device rose over the village next to the base – Combat Outpost Garda, 30 miles from Kabul. The chatter of heavy machine guns and the clatter of rifles returning fire rolled over the base and then they went silent. More than a quarter of the times the Afghan forces have gone out in the past week, they have encountered IED threats. This time their sappers blew the explosives in place, but other times they have stumbled on them, though none of their troops have been injured or killed.

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