Leon Panetta said he views rogue Afghan troops and police turning their guns on allied forces attacks as the "last gasp" of a Taliban insurgency that has not been able to regain lost ground.
By Our Foreign Staff
8:16AM BST 17 Sep 2012
The defence chief's comments came as it emerged that a Taliban attack on a Nato base in Afghanistan resulted in the destruction of eight jets.
Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the escalating insider attacks a "very serious threat" to the Afghanistan campaign.
There have been three so-called insider attacks against US and Nato troops over the past several days, including an attack at a checkpoint by Afghan police Sunday that killed four American soldiers.
More than 50 international service members have died at the hands of their Afghan allies or those who have infiltrated their ranks so far this year. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead.
The spike in insider attacks is souring the relationship between Nato troops and the Afghan forces that they are training and fighting alongside. But military and defense leaders have insisted that these attacks are not hampering the war effort, and that it will not impact the plans to have combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Tags: Afghanistan, Occupation, US, NATO, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda, CIA
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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