Kabul is currently a tense place as it has been many times in the past (the 2006 riots that erupted after American soldiers caused a multi-fatality motor vehicle accident and then started shooting people who were coming to the rescue of the original victims springs instantly to mind) but this time things are different. The endgame is near, internationals are no longer welcomed in most parts of the country and barely tolerated in the rest. Armored SUV’s, still the only way most internationals will travel in Kabul, are routinely stopped and the legally licensed weapons of the international security consultants confiscated. On a technical note every weapon owned and licensed to PSC firms are now illegal because the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) was supposed to take over the security duties from international PSC’s last month and that’s not remotely close to happening.
The local people here are terrified about what will happen when ISAF and the international community pull out while at the same time absolutely disgusted with ISAF, the UN, the big reconstruction firms and the Afghan politicians who are looting the country. Who can blame them? I’m disgusted with the American politicians who are looting my country too. Over here the mob is enflamed by Koran burnings and rouge shootings. In America the mob is inflamed by a media manufactured “racially motivated” shootings.
The New York Times prints articles about corrupt officials in Kabul and ponder aloud why they remain at liberty. I’d like to know why Jon Corzine is still at liberty, he stole 1.6 billion dollars from his investors making the millions his Afghan counterparts are pocketing pale in comparison. But we know why these men are free – politically powerful members of corrupt political machines never face the consequences of their actions.
That seems to be a trend around the world these days, or so I thought until I read this piece of conventional brilliance from our Secretary of Defense informing me I don’t know Jack about trends. The topic Mr. Panetta was addressing, while demonstrating his mastery at defining common english words, was the non-trend of Green on Blue fratricide.
The problem of Green on Blue fratricide is a big deal, has been going on a long time, and it’s not confined to Green on Blue as there have been reports of Green on Green incidents over the years too. We don’t know how big the trend is because our military isn’t telling us how many Americans (another report on this un-trend can be fond here) have been gunned down by Afghan security forces. Why is this happening? I don’t know because I’ve got no perspective and very little inside information.
If you go back to this post and watch the 60 minute segment about Special Forces trainers or go back to this post and watch the you tube video of the mayhem caused by Canadian soldiers as they spend an hour in the bazaar looking for a spark plug (I’m not kidding about that either) you’ll get an understanding on how we are viewed from the Afghan perspective.
Pic - "Last Offensive"