A while back I blogged about Rory Stewart’s remarkable account of his walk across Afghanistan. What his experiences suggested — to me — that the Western adventure in that pre-medieval country is, and always was, doomed to failure. What’s more, our political leaders must know that. And yet none of them ever admits to it. Instead they spout cant about bringing the West’s engagement to a planned and successful end in 2014, when they will hand over responsibility for security to the Afghans they have so diligently and expensively trained.
One significant fly in that ointment is the fact that the aforementioned trainees are heavily engaged in murdering their trainers in the so-called “green-on-blue” attacks which accounted for the deaths of 42 coalition soldiers in the last 12 months alone. Over a longer period, green-on-blue attacks have accounted for 6% of all ISAF (i.e. coalition) deaths. The significance of these attacks is, of course, continually played down — for the obvious reason that it undermines the official narrative. There is, we are told, no common thread and little evidence of infiltration by Taliban agents. The majority of these attacks are allegedly the result of personal grudges.
Unfortunately for the narrative, the US military were so troubled by the green-on-blue murder rate that they commissioned an in-depth study. Its title is “A Crisis of Trust and responsibility: a Red Team study of Mutual Perceptions of ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] Personnel and US Soldiers in Understanding and Mitigating the Phenomena of ANSF-Committed Fratricide Murders”. It’s based on an extensive field study of ANSF and US soldiers to investigate their perceptions of one another.
The report runs to 70 pages. You can find the pdf here, but if you’re busy here’s the nub of the diagnosis taken from the Executive Summary.
So, remind me, why is nobody willing to admit to the obvious truth about the Afghan adventure?