US commander Gen. John Nicholson reported on Wednesday that a group of militants who attacked the Afghan Interior Ministry in downtown Kabul were actually wearing US Army uniforms, and driving a Humvee in an attempt to bypass checkpoints.
This might well have worked, except that this was actually an old Army uniform pattern, a fact which was noticed by the checkpoint guards. This led to a skirmish, and one of the attackers used an explosive vest in the attack. All eight attackers were killed, while one Afghan soldier was killed and several wounded.
The use of captured US uniforms is a long-standing tactic of militant groups in nations like Afghanistan, where long-term US military presence means a lot of such gear is available. 17 years of US presence in Afghanistan means multiple generations of camouflage have been used there.
Gen. Nicholson expressed concern that Afghan troops seeing people wearing US uniforms and driving a US vehicle might “hesitate,” but that immediate engagement was exactly what the Afghan forces were supposed to do.