August 20, 2012 at 11:57 am
By Laura King [/*]
Los Angeles Times[/*]
Kabul, Afghanistan — With the tempo of "insider" shootings accelerating, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in Kabul for talks on the phenomenon of Western troops dying at the hands of Afghan allies, U.S. and Afghan officials said Monday.
U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, landed at Bagram Air Field outside Kabul earlier in the day. Dempsey and the chief of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James R. Mattis, met with NATO and U.S. Afghan commander Gen. John Allen in Kabul and discussed the progress of the Afghanistan campaign, a statement issued by the coalition said.
Hours before his arrival, another American service member was killed in an "insider" shooting, the 10th such U.S. death this month.
Allen said in the statement that they discussed "how to maintain momentum against the insurgents," adding that international forces continued to support a push to train and equip Afghans in preparation of the departure of most international combat forces at the end of 2014.
"The campaign remains on track," Allen said in the statement.
Dempsey and Mattis also met with a number of senior Afghan and coalition leaders, the statement said.
The "vast majority" of attacks by Afghan forces against U.S. and allied troops stem from "disgruntled individuals" and not Taliban insurgents, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
While coalition forces have improved vetting procedures for admitting Afghans into the country's growing army, "it's not always possible to read the minds of other people," Little told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Monday.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the weekend "to share his concern about recent insider attacks" and to "explore ways to work even more closely together," Little said.
Forty NATO service members have died this year in attacks by Afghan police, soldiers or base workers, according to the Western military count. However, the NATO force's figures do not reflect the full scope of the problem, because Western officials do not routinely disclose attacks that do not involve Western fatalities, and because tallies earlier this year did not include attacks carried out by Afghans who were part of the security apparatus but were not members of the uniformed Afghan police and army.
Authorities in Kandahar province said the latest American death occurred Sunday when two Afghan policemen opened fire on a group of coalition and Afghan troops. The gunfire also killed a police sergeant and wounded an Afghan interpreter. One of the shooters was killed in return fire and the other escaped, said Mohammad Khan, the Spin Boldak district police chief.
Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120820/NATION/208200374#ixzz244yvyR3B
Tags: Afghanistan, US, NATO, Occupation, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 3724 | Comments: 15 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|