Rogue Afghan soldiers and police turning their weapons on their allies are now the leading cause of death for NATO troops. On Aug. 28 a man wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire on Australian soldiers in the southern province of Uruzgan, killing three and wounding two.
Archived posts with tag ‘training’
In one sense, the U.S.-led coalition has itself to blame for the riots and killings that have raged across Afghanistan in the wake of last week’s accidental burning of the Koran by American forces. Too many U.S. troops habitually disrespect their Afghan trainees, according to some of the elite forces who head up those training sessions. And those small, tactical acts of cultural stupidity can lead to a strategic moment, like the one we’re having now.
The official line from the Pentagon is that U.S. forces will still work hand in glove with their Afghan counterparts, even after an Afghan Interior Minister employee murdered two American troops on Saturday. But some elite units are already reducing cooperation with the Afghans until anger over U.S. troops burning the Koran dies down, casting doubts on the Pentagon’s assurances that no change in U.S. strategy is necessary.
AOL Defense: A Glimpse Inside Special Forces Training of Top Afghan Cops; Rule of Law Vs. Corruption
AFGHANISTAN: International Special Operations forces play an important but largely unheralded role in Afghanistan. American Army Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force, along with Navy SEALs and Air Force specialists work with the best from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other allied nations to kill and capture insurgents and terrorists. They also train Afghan militia, police and soldiers.
Afghan security forces will take over as U.S.-led international troops gradually withdraw from Afghanistan through 2014. At least that’s the plan. Poor leadership could undermine Afghan efforts to secure their own country. “There’s a gross lack of leadership in Afghanistan,” says “Tom,” a U.S. Army Special Forces officer assigned to train Afghan police in Laghman province, east of Kabul.
With rebel forces in Tripoli and Moammar Gadhafi on the run, the end could be near for the Libyan civil war. Sporadic fighting continues in the capital city of the oil-rich North African nation, NATO warplanes are still patrolling overhead, and there’s always the danger of Gadhafi true-believers launching a fresh insurgency. But already, Western analysts are weighing the lessons of the six-month-long conflict. “Modern air power is the key force that is directly leading to the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula concluded. True, but a host of other cutting-edge technologies, and a few decidedly low-end ones, also played critical roles.
U.S. troops will start pulling out of Afghanistan this summer. This raises the basic question — is the Afghan military ready to take over and would it survive the departure of much of the U.S. military.
He was the last person anyone expected to betray them. “Crazy Joe” was an Afghan cop — and a good one, his U.S. comrades believed. That is, until a day in October 2009, in Wardak province south of Kabul. A group of U.S. Army soldiers assigned to work alongside the Afghan police had just sat down to lunch when Crazy Joe opened fire.
Staff Sgt. Richard Rodriguez was on a mission. On March 27, the stocky military policeman from the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division led a group of American and Afghan security forces on a foot patrol through the town of Baraki Barak, 50 miles south of Kabul. (See video above.)
Videos: Iron Fist 2011
Here’s some video from the exercise, with commentary thrown in as annotations. The video is not all that useful and more resembles B roll, but it’s all I got. I only had a few hours and was torn between filming tanks, conversations in English, conversations in Japanese, and conversations in English and Japanese.
I’m back from Camp Pendleton, California, where I observed a portion of the U.S.-Japanese Iron Fist exercise. I’m still going over my notes (and battling allergies) but I’ve uploaded a set of photos my photographer (wife) Lisa took during the event. Videos and a writeup to follow. Enjoy!