It’s being called an “insider attack” in some reports, but an incident today in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province, in which three US soldiers were shot and wounded by an Afghan soldier, does not appear to have involved an infiltrator, as most previous incidents have.
Col. Mohammad Rasool Zazai, an Afghan Army spokesman, insisted the soldier “made a mistake” and had not deliberately fired his gun. The soldier, as yet unidentified in public statements, was apparently killed in the incident.
Because of the size of the Afghan military and its low pay, recruiting standards are very low, and this has allowed a number of Taliban to infiltrate, stealing weapons or using their access as “soldiers” to carry out attacks on the rest of the Afghan security forces.
Attacks on NATO troops were a lot more common a few years ago, though rule changes now limit foreign troops’ contact with the rank-and-file Afghan forces, which has meant most such insider incidents have since been Afghan-on-Afghan violence.