Three more US soldiers were shot and killed on Saturday by an Afghan trainee at a base in Helmand province, raising to six the number of American troops killed by their Afghan partners in just 24 hours.
On Friday, gunmen in Afghan uniforms shot and killed three US special operations forces in southern Afghanistan, marking the 28th killed by so-called green-on-blue attacks this year.
In the first attack, US troops were lured to their deaths by an Afghan police commander who invited them to dinner Thursday night. The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks and said the gunmen had defected to the insurgency.
The failure of the US mission in Afghanistan – to build up and train a centralized state and security apparatus – is illustrated clearly in the constant killing of US soldiers by their Afghan counterparts. Much of the security force has been infiltrated by the Taliban or Pakistani agents.
The fractured nature of the armed population in the country is likely to translate tocivil war once the US occupation is drawn down. “Mark my words, the moment the Americans leave, the civil war will begin,” one Afghan told Dexter Filkins in a recentNew Yorker piece. “This country will be divided into twenty-five or thirty fiefdoms, each with its own government.”
The U.S. has begun to recognize that the war is a total failure and the Obama administration is scrambling for a partial withdrawal by 2014. As Dexter Filkins wrote recently in theNew Yorker, reiterating the establishment view: “After eleven years, nearly two thousand Americans killed, sixteen thousand Americans wounded, nearly four hundred billion dollars spent, and more than twelve thousand Afghan civilians dead since 2007, the war in Afghanistan has come to this: the United States is leaving, mission not accomplished.”
David Rothkopf, CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy magazine, has written that President Obama was reluctant to recommit to the Afghan war with a surge in troopsfrom the beginning, but that he did it anyways because he “could not afford to look weak” or “come under political attack from the right.” So, thousands of coalition soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed because Obama was afraid to be called a wimp.