Saturday Aug 18, 201202:33 PM GMT
US arms all forces in Afghanistan to reduce 'green on blue' casualties
Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:32PM
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On bases in Afghanistan, most NATO troops have not historically been armed. With the number of green-on-blue attacks spiraling out of control, however, a new order has been passed down that all of them must be armed at all times.

 

Once extremely rare, green-on-blue attacks are now a weekly occurrence, with two more shootings happening on Friday alone, including one that left two U.S. soldiers killed. NATO has lost 39 soldiers to such attacks so far in 2012. Antiwar

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Gen. John Allen, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, ordered the move, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the orders. CNN

 

Number of attacks by angry Afghan forces on U.S.-led troops has significantly increased in recent months, prompting the American military to go through such options to reduce their fatalities. 

 

An Afghan police officer opened fire on U.S. troops in Farah province in southwestern Afghanistan, killing two servicemembers; and two International Security Assistance Force troops and an Afghan servicemember were wounded by another Afghan servicemember in Kandahar. Stripes

 

Now, anyone who goes to the base headquarters would see that all troops, regardless of their tasks, carry weapons with a magazine of ammunition attached, a U.S. official confirmed.CNN

 

Troops now could fire against an attacker within seconds by sliding a lever on their weapons to make a round drop into the firing chamber. Loaded weapons are being carried both in the open outdoor areas of the base and inside buildings and meeting rooms. CNN

 

Gen. Allen seems to be hoping the increase in armed NATO troops will cut down on shootings, but with attackers like a 15-year-old unpaid aide finding access to weapons and taking the opportunity to shoot, the effect may be limited. Antiwar

 

And indeed, with tensions high and mistrust soaring between NATO and Afghan forces, the addition of more armed personnel, particularly those not trained to be base security, might escalate even more arguments and lead to more violence. Antiwar

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

The U.S.-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to allegedly destroy militancy in the country and arrest its leaders but to no avail.

 

Several international bodies including human rights organizations have warned of dire humanitarian situation in war-weary Afghanistan.

 

A United Nations report says the human rights situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated due to a rise in civilian casualties. The Afghan Conflict Monitor

 

Armed violence in Afghanistan exceeded record levels in 2010 leaving catastrophic impacts on civilian Afghan communities, read an Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) annual report on civilian casualties of war

 

Night raids by U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan have been associated with the death, injury, and detention of civilians, and have sparked enormous backlash among Afghan communities. Open Society Foundations

 

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has led public criticism of the controversial raids, saying they endanger lives and harass local communities, and repeatedly called on U.S.-led international forces to stop entering Afghan homes. AFP

 

DT/HJ

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