By Jim Kouri
President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged a growing number of Americans are being murdered by the Afghans they are training to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban. During a weekend telephone conversation between U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai they addressed the recent killings of U.S. servicemen by members of the Afghan military, according to the Pentagon press secretary on Sunday.
The two men discussed American and Afghan forces as the transition process moves forward, according to Press Secretary George Little.
What are now being termed “insider attacks” against coalition members, including the recent killing of six U.S. soldiers by their own Afghan “comrades in arms, appears to be occurring more often and is a disturbing trend, according to several servicemen who’ve served in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war.
Coincidentally, on the same weekend as the Panetta-Karzai discussion another insider attack occurred.
“I recall during the Bush administration almost on a daily basis the politicians opposed to the war on terrorism and their echo chamber in the media would ask the $64,000 question: Where’s the plan? Well, why isn’t anyone asking the current Commander in Chief about his plan for victory?” asked former Lt. Col. Stanley Dean.
“I suspect this administration is just biding time until after the November election for a number of political reasons,” he added.
According to press secretary Little, Panetta and Karzai agreed that American and Afghan leaders must work together to curtail these disturbing “insider attacks” as the time for U.S. troop withdrawal approaches.
Prevention of “insider attacks” should include counterintelligence, thorough background checks of Afghan recruits and developing “assets” within cities and towns, who would be valuable in selecting Afghan security personnel who would not become security risks, according to the Pentagon.