AirTalk for September 18, 2012

Insider shootings lead to curtailing of NATO activity in Afghanistan

Hoshang Hashimi/AP Photo

An Afghan policeman aims at protesters by a burning police truck set alight during an anti-U.S. demonstration

Two days ago, anti-American violence erupted in Kabul as militant branches of Islam protested the inflammatory “Innocence of Muslims” video. And yesterday, twelve people were killed, mostly foreign air charter workers, when a suicide car bomber targeted a minivan near Kabul International Airport. The maverick Islamist Hezb-i-Islami (Party of Islam), has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a spokesperson for the group quoted in the Washington Post.

This latest violence follows on a period of increasing hostility towards westerners in the region. Since January, more than 50 coalition troops in Afghanistan have fallen victim to a number of so-called “insider” shootings by Afghan security forces. On Sunday, four NATO troops were killed by an attack believed to involve Afghan police; two days before, insurgents disguised in U.S. army uniforms attacked a joint British-American base. Two U.S. Marines and 14 insurgents died in the firefight. As a result, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force has ordered its troops to curb joint operations with local security forces.

Are “blue-on-green” attacks leading to a breakdown in coalition relations? What can be done to quell the wrath stirred up by the anti-Muslim video? Is the U.S. fighting a losing battle in Afghanistan? Is it time to look at an exit strategy?

Guests:

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Foreign Correspondent, National Public Radio, joins us from Kabul

Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution -- with its 21st Century Defense Initiative and director of research for its Foreign Policy program. O’Hanlon is a member of General David Petraeus’s External Advisory Board at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bill Roggio, Managing Editor, Long War Journal; Senior Fellow, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Former embedded reporter in Iraq & Afghanistan


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