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DoD photo / Army Sgt. Sean P. Casey

Two U.S. soldiers and an Afghan National Army soldier (center) on patrol in Wardak province, where a pair of Americans died Saturday in a suspected insider attack.

As the fog of war in Afghanistan clouded the death of the 2,000th U.S. troop there in the 11-year war, things seem to be reaching a tipping point.

George Will, the conservative columnist, asked an increasingly common question Sunday morning in the Washington Post:

Why are we staying there 27 more months?

Sunday night, in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, Marine General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan made explicit what many U.S. officers have been saying privately in recent weeks:

You know, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we’re not willing to be murdered for it.

The dare could hardly be more brazen: General Allen has made it clear that the fraying U.S.-Afghan relationship is on the verge of snapping, well before the planned pullout of all American combat forces by Dec. 31, 2014.

(PHOTOS: A Long and Distant War: Photos from Afghanistan, 1988-2009)

Whether that is sufficient to get Afghan superiors to rid their forces of possible “green-on-blue” killers – or simply encourages more such attacks by anti-American or pro-Taliban sympathizers already inside the Afghan security forces — remains unknowable.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that the continuing murder of U.S. troops would not derail the allies’ strategy in Afghanistan. “I expect that there will be more of these high-profile attacks and that the enemy will do whatever they can to try and break our will using this kind of tactic,” he said. “That will not happen.” NATO recently reduced its partnering with Afghan forces following a spate of such insider attacks, but U.S. officials have said they were returning to normal.

At least 52 coalition troops, mostly American, have died at the hands of Afghan security forces, about 15% of total deaths. The latest death pushed the tally of U.S. war dead in Afghanistan since Oct. 7, 2001, to 2,000.

Conflicting accounts of a Saturday clash in which two Americans – one military and one civilian contractor – and three Afghan troops showed how sour the relationship between the two allies has become.

(PHOTOS: U.S. Embassy Attacked in Kabul Last Year)

The allies’ International Security Assistance Force initially reported that “a suspected insider attack” had killed the NATO troop and contractor. “It is also known that there were Afghan National Army casualties.” It later elaborated: “after a short conversation took place between ANA and ISAF personnel firing occurred which resulted in the fatal wounding of an ISAF soldier and the death of his civilian colleague.”

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/95505/isaf-statement-attack-yesterday-wardak#.UGmY8zHyYzK#ixzz283NHxGtJ

Afghan officials said U.S. troops responded to a Taliban rocket attack in eastern Wardak province by firing on nearby Afghan troops who hadn’t fired the missile. A gunfight between the two ensued, leading to the five deaths. U.S. officials said Afghan forces killed the two Americans at a checkpoint, which led to a firefight in which three Afghan troops died.

Regardless, the bottom line remains the same: supposed allies are killing one another.

NATO officials tried to put a positive spin on their Afghan allies. “If you visit the people in the field who are working together closely with thousands of interactions everyday you see strong, trusting relationships resulting in cooperative operations delivering success,” British Lieut. General Adrian Bradshaw told reporters Sunday.

Perhaps. But not every cell in a body needs to be cancerous to kill. With the total size of Afghan security forces now at about 352,000 (195,000 soldiers and 157,000 national police), even if one-tenth of 1% are turncoats, that’s 350 human time bombs waiting for the right moment to explode.

MORE: After November: 5 Middle East Headaches Looming for the U.S.

5 comments
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Muhammad Khizir Farooqi
Muhammad Khizir Farooqi

No doubt. It is purely a war of Obama by Obama for Obama. In reward US citizens received 2000 bodies to bury hither and thither for no fault of their.

Willeydoog
Willeydoog

BFD, lost more US soldiers than that in almost any 2 month stretch during Viet Nam, and no one gave a crap.

xorx0
xorx0

That is the cost of military adventurism. When you listen to the hawks haranguing, you need to think of consequences and cost  People stateside don't know or ignore the atrocities some of our boys are committing over there. Inaccurate drone strikes, abuse,  and wholesale rounding up of innocents and "enhanced interrogation"can sure make some of those people mad. Angry enough to strike back any way they can. They don't hate us because they are envious of what we have. They seek revenge even if they lose ten to our one. It took several ass kickings before the English , the French , and the Germans learned the lesson. The Soviet Union which was right next door and had overwhelmingly superior forces had to leave Afghanistan  with their tail tucked between their legs. So far we've only declared victory and gone home a couple of times: it might take us a while to learn that lesson.

John
John

This is Obamas war. He named it and claimed it! Every murder of a US soldier is blood on his hands! US Forces are staying for one reason only; to make it appear Obama has shaped a victory. Six months after we pull out it will be the barbarian muck hole it was before the US can and after the Russians left!

snowleopard (cat folk gallery)
snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

Here is the queston that needs to be asked - when the 2000th death occured in Iraq, the media went hyper at Pres Bush. Where is the same outrage at Obama - its on his watch?

Get our troops out of there and bring them home; we have lost the war in Afghanistan.

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