All NATO Troops in Afghanistan To Be Armed Around the Clock

Gen. Allen Hopes More Guns Will Cut Down on Shootings

by Jason Ditz, August 17, 2012

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 today alone, including one that left two US soldiers killed. NATO has lost 39 soldiers to such attacks so far in 2012.

Gen. Allen, who made the order, seem 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.

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.

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