Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:38 AM
These latest slayings took place inside a compound in the northern Afghan province of Faryab where the soldiers were providing security for a meeting between US trainers and Afghan border police.
I can't find more details, not even the soldiers' names, but let's use our imagination. Two presumably young soldiers arrived safely with their traveling team at the Afghan border police compound near the Afghan border with Turkmenistan. There, US trainers were meeting with Afghan border police. Was this to get or pass along information? Complain or praise recent activities? Plan yet another training session? We have no idea. But the soldiers probably believed the first hard part of the day was over, that they were behind a secure perimeter, could have a smoke or a chew or a stick of gum, and wait until they had to mount up and face the booby traps and sniper harassment that would follow them home. It was at that point that their killer, an Afghan police officer, approached. Maybe he was even assigned to them. He greeted them, offered them something to eat, asked them something, maybe told them a joke. While they were eating, smoking, tying their boots, laughing, somehow off guard, he shot them dead. Did he shout Allahu Akbar, or keep it under his breath, or wait until he had gotten clean away for a big loud, "Allah be praised, I got me two infidels"? Because he did get clean away, either over or through the wall, or right past the the presumably guarded gate. Did another Afghan help, not hinder, look the other way? Maybe the shooter was the gate guard. Will we ever know?
This "incident" brings the total of US troops murdered by our Afghan allies since December (by my unofficial and quite possibly incomplete count) to 17. If I add in the two Italian troops killed in January by an Afghan soldier firing an M-16 at close range while the Italians were cleaning their guns, and the three German troops killed by a submachine gun fired at close range while the Germans were working on a vehicle, we get to 22 Allied killed by Afghan allies in four months -- over five Western men sacrificed each month for being "infidels" ordered by their dhimmi leaders to curry favor in the umma through an unprecedented campaign of payola and public works. This is an outrage, a scandal, and every civilian representative of these fallen soldiers and their bereaved families is AWOL and isn't that a crime?
Apparently not. To our unflustered leaders, the six/month in sacrifice is maybe lamentable but perfectly acceptable, the price of the privilege of spending $350 million a day to be in Afghanistan in the first place.
Whatever happened to the investigation into these "incidents' promised by Maine US Sen. Snowe? Snowe piped up after one of her constituents, Buddy McLain, was killed by an Afghan soldier along with five other US soldiers in December while drinking tea -- after having recently expressed misgivings to his wife about the dangers he sensed in arming his Afghan "partners" -- but haven't heard much since.
Snowe's Senate colleague Sen. Collins had the following, completely unenlightening exchange on the general subject with Adm. Mullen in February. The problem is the premise: She, along with all of her colleagues, treat these "incidents" as unfortunate by-products of a worthwhile, golden and salvational strategy that must be pursued forever; not manifestations of a distastrous strategy that must be junked ASAP. Which reminds of what an ex-Green Beret friend with multiple stints in Afghanistan told me was his "winning strategy":
Oh, by "winning" I mean leaving Afghanistan as soon as possible, burning in place or blowing up all our materiel we can't carry with us quickly.
Amen, brother. Anyway back to ineffectual debate:
Collins: "I understand how imperative it is that we build up those forces so that we can eventually leave Afghanistan.
"Eventually" ... [primal scream optional].
But I want you to know that I'm concerned that the focus on so rapidly increasing the number of Afghan National Security Forces is shortchanging the vetting of those recruits. What are we doing to better vet those Afghan recruits to ensure that tragic incidents, and attacks like this do not occur?" Senator Collins asked Admiral Mullen.
Calling the December incident a "tragedy," Admiral Mullen told Senator Collins that the U.S. military is moving very quickly to build up the Afghan National Security Forces while focusing on the quality of the instructors, and boosting the Afghan police training program, and that military leaders are focused on working to help prevent a similar incident in the future.
In other words, blah-blah.
Mullen: "That said, tragically, these things do occur on occasion. They did in Iraq, they do in Afghanistan.
We have precedent, so it's practically Constitutional.
And while we will do everything we can to eliminate them, I would not sit here and tell you that we will be 100-percent successful with respect to that," Admiral Mullen said. "Every one of these is investigated thoroughly-every one of them. And, in fact, the one to which you refer I went through this with General Campbell specifically-what happened, what do we know about this guy, what was in the background and there wasn't a lot there with respect to his background that would have led him to specifically take that action to kill our six troops. So we take that, we investigate it, we certainly integrate that back into what we're doing-but it's a big challenge."
But things are getting a little strange out there: In a statement about this week's killings, Gen. Petraeus strongly condemned them, sent his condolences to families, appreciated Karzai for condemning and sending condolences (really weird touch), and pledged "to remain steadfast in our work with our Afghan partners to help them apprehend this criminal and bring him to justice.”
And then what?