On Dec. 3, Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, spoke to reporters about the Afghan Border Policeman who shot and killed six US soldiers from the 101st on Nov. 28. He doesn't mention teatime, as NATO reported, also on Dec. 3, but he does add details, particularly to the larger unfolding story.
From the Clarksville (TN) Leaf Chronicle report:
Campbell spoke with reporters Thursday about the attack Monday at a remote Afghan observation post in Nangarhar province.
The soldiers went to the OP to check on the ABP officers stationed there, he said, and were shot in the back during an artillery practice. They were with Afghan National Army soldiers and were greeted by ABP, one of whom was the gunman, Campbell said.
Five of the soldiers — all members of 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team — were watching the impact area from the elevated position when the ABP officer shot them in the back. He turned his weapon on the sixth, and then was killed by other 101st soldiers.
The incident lasted between 10 and 15 seconds, Campbell said....
Nothing about "officials" saying the policeman was "tracked down and killed in a shootout near the Pakistan border," as this Dallas Morning News Story reported on Dec. 4.
Campbell said the unit had been to the observation post three or four times before and the soldiers were on a "routine mission."
The other ABP officers at the site were quickly disarmed and quarantined so an investigation could begin, which is still ongoing and led by a joint Afghan and International Security Assistance Force team.
Surprisingly sensible SOP -- if TOO LATE.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying the officer was a sleeper agent. Campbell said that was not necessarily the case, as the Taliban often claims responsibility for such incidents.
He said the officer had been in the ABP for three or four years and had been at the observation post for three or four months.
Campbell said the screening process for ANA, ABP and Afghan Uniform Police involves biometric screening and drug testing. Initial enlistment requires the backing of village elders, which the gunman had, Campbell said.
As a colleague of mine recently said, stupid is forever. But does "stupid" have to have responsibility for life, death and national destiny?Does "stupid" have to outsource all judgment and reason to those who count as enemy sympathizers or, at best, enemy puppets? I'm not suggesting there is a better way to vet Afghan Army recruits; I am suggesting, however, there is no way to vet Afghan Army recruits -- at least for the purposes of building a force with enough loyalty to its American sponsors to rule out semi-regular shoot-in-back murder and total dissolution on our eventual, God willing, withdrawal.
Of course, using Afghan village elders to vet Afghan Army recruits is only symptomatic of the larger, existential problem -- our government's abdication of responsibility to protect this country from harm by outsourcing all judgment and reason on matters related to the enemy threat doctrine (jihad to extend sharia) to the puppets, apologists and promoters of the same jihad and sharia.
Just a few recently reported examples (hattips Patrick Poole) that reveal the same official "outreach" mindset -- heedless as to what officials are reaching out to -- include:
MPAC train TSA officials on Islam.
What's wrong with that? For starters, MPAC founder and director Marayati is "openly pro-Hezbollah," as Patrick Poole reports here.
Jihad-linked imams invited to offer, um, spiritual gudance on Capitol Hill.
US diplomats seek insights on Iran-US relations from Iranian stooge.
As part of the Pentagon's push "to reach out to the Muslim community" after 9/11 (I know, I know) terror-imam Anwar Al-Awlaki was invited to lunch with military braas -- even as the FBI was investigating him for his ties to the 9/11 hijackers.
The FBI chose as a 2010 Muslim outreach partner Kiphah Mustaphah, an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF terrorism financing trial, who, as Patrick Poole reports here, as recently as July 2009, hosted a Hamas fundariser. (I asked FBI Director Mueller about this but he didn't want to play.)
Back to today's example: village elders vetting Afghan recruits.
That process is being reviewed, Campbell said. ...
But how and by whom -- more stupid people?
Campbell acknowledged that the shooting will at least have some impact on the trust level between American soldiers and their Afghan partners.
"What we can't do is have guys looking behind their backs, wondering if someone is going to shoot them," Campbell said. "
Insert imaginary Patton comment here.
At the tactical level, this is going to be very, very tough for our young soldiers."
This is not "very, very tough." It's very, very irresponsible to what strikes me as a criminal and unprecedented degree.
Maj. Gen. Frank Wiercinski, senior commander at Fort Campbell, said the installation will embrace the families just as it has with other casualties.
"We grieve the same," he said. "One loss rips you to the bone."
I'm sorry. These losses are not the same. They are not the results of enemy fire or accident or illness. They are the results of a disastrous, politically correct, see-no-Islam foreign policy and war strategy that remains resolutely blind to the fact that shoving ill-fitting Western values into an Islamic hold is worse than pointless.
It's also not the first time such an incident in Afghanistan has happened, Campbell said, but it is the deadliest in at least two years.
Oh really? Let's be more specific. Here's the rundown I came up with in a hurry and without even trying to tally deceit and collusion in the ranks or on the battlefield such as here and here (and forget non-competence).
At least one of the soldiers, McClain, had already told his family about his uncertainty in providing weapons and training to some of the ABP officers.
Chelsea McLain, McLain's wife, told the Associated Press that her husband had expressed his concern a week before his death. She said he told her he was going on a dangerous mission. She told the Sun Journal, "He didn't think it was right to train these people and give them guns."
Campbell said McLain's platoon leader wanted to continue to partner with Afghan forces because it's what will prove to be the success of the fight in Afghanistan.
"We can't let one lone gunman turn this thing around," he said.
How about one bad strategy -- building on hopes and prayers for leaving on "training" Afghans?
Col. Andrew Poppas, commander of Task Force Bastogne and forces in Nangarhar, told The Leaf-Chronicle on Wednesday that there have been issues with the Afghan military and police forces, some serious enough where at least one ABP battalion commander had to be relieved of his duties.
An Afghan Border Police battalion commander had to relieved -- hear that, 112th Congress?? The American people deserve some details on all of these incidents, and we shouldn't have to wait for WikiLeaks to get it.
Poppas said he and the rest of his team have been trying to change the Afghan forces' philosophy [that] they can only fight for a 24-hour period and then have to take a break. That effort has begun to take root, but is still in its infancy, he said.
They may not realize it, but that's not all they're trying to change. Stupid is really forever if "the team" can't see that Afghan "infancy" is forever, too.