An Afghan soldier opened fire on his American military trainers in southern Afghanistan this week, killing one and wounding three others before being fatally shot.
These so-called “rogue shootings” have become increasingly more frequent, this being the third time in just over two weeks that an Afghan soldier attacked NATO personnel. Some see the incidents as an indication that insurgents are infiltrating the U.S.-trained Afghan army just to carry out these attacks.
The government has been mum about previous such incidents because it flies in the face of, for example, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s comment last month that the U.S. is “winning” in Afghanistan. A central goal of the mission is to train an Afghan army, but so far the army is made up of illiterate criminals and drug addicts who sometimes attack NATO soldiers and quit in droves. The rate of attrition in the Afghan army is as high as ten percent, according to some reports.
The Afghan police commander in Kandahar, General Abdul Raziq, is an illustration of this kind of failure. He has been accused of involvement in drug production, corruption, the killing and torture of civilians, et al. despite continuing to receive U.S. resources and training.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, the US Commander responsible for training those Afghan forces, said in September that not a single Afghan army battalion can operate without assistance from US or allied units. Out of approximately 180 Afghan National Army battalions, only two operate “independently,” but he qualified by conceding that even those units rely on daily U.S. support.