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Insider shootings lead to curtailing of NATO activity in Afghanistan

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

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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?


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