The Afghani Soldiers Who Don’t Treat Us As Liberators

BPR Guest Blogger

Afghan Soldiers Killing Allied Forces

by Jack Quirk/ A Different Perspective/ Jan. 20, 2012

The New York Times is reporting that American and other coalition forces in Afghanistan are being killed in increasing numbers by the very Afghan soldiers they fight alongside and train. [1]  It appears that the American and Afghan soldiers don’t like each other very much, and the mutual contempt has erupted in lethal attacks.

 American soldiers complain that their Afghan counterparts are untrustworthy on patrol, are dishonest, abuse drugs, and are cowardly during combat.  The Afghan soldiers, for their part, find the Americans arrogant, and charge that they take out their frustrations at American casualties on Afghan civilians.

While the contempt is mutual, the killing has been one-sided.  There are no reported cases of Americans killing Afghan soldiers.  But between May 2007 and May 2011 at least 58 Western service members were killed in 26 separate attacks by Afghan soldiers and police nationwide.  That was 6 percent of all hostile coalition deaths during that time frame.

 Prospects of getting a handle on this problem appear to be bleak.  One Afghan colonel says that the reciprocal hostility is growing, and promises to become a major problem among the lower ranks of the respective forces in the near future.

What to do?  The Taliban appears ready for peace talks, and the video of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters has not changed that posture. [2]  But it is apparently the position of the United States that any talks between the United States and the Taliban must receive the blessing of Afghan President Hamid Karzai before going forward. [3]  Interestingly, a tentative agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban, which included the transfer of five Afghan detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to Qatar and the Taliban’s renunciation of international terrorism, fell apart in December when Mr. Karzai refused to go along with it. [4]

Mr. Karzai, of course, has every right to decide what terms of settlement he will accept.  In fact, he has the right to order American and NATO troops out of his country.  But he does not have the right to order allied troops to remain in Afghanistan.  It’s time to let Mr. Karzai know just how anxious we are to leave.  He can let us begin talks with the Taliban, and he can agree to a reasonable settlement, or we can pack our bags.

  Hopefully, this latest lesson that nation-building is a stupid idea will stay with us for a few generations.

Jack Quirk blogs at A Different Perspective. He hosts American Politics & Culture which airs on Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on WPRR 1608 AM and 95.3 FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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