The Pentagon has long tried to downplay the number of “insider attacks” which have been carried out by the Taliban, initially putting them at 10 percent of the overall green-on-blue killings and later bumping that up to a modest 25 percent.
The Afghan Foreign Ministry however sought to change this perception today, saying that a majority of the attacks are actually “terrorist infiltration” by the Taliban and that only as small portion of the shootings can be attributed to “cultural grievances.”
There doesn’t seem to be solid evidence for either claim, however. Though certainly there have been some “infiltration” style attacks and there have also clearly been attacks that were the result of arguments gone out of hand, there doesn’t seem to be solid data on most of the attacks, at least not that has been made available to the public.
Both sides have an agenda with their claims, with the US hoping to spin the matter as something the Afghan government can get a handle on with a little “cultural sensitivity” training and the Afghan government trying to insist it isn’t at fault. The Taliban of course has also been keen to claim credit for every single attack to make themselves out to be an even bigger threat, and with little to no independent media in Afghanistan it is difficult to say which, if any, of the three is actually right in their claims.