US, Afghan Troops Ambushed in Insider Attack

Attacker in Afghan uniform opened fire with a machine gun

On Saturday, the latest in a growing series of insider attacks in Afghanistan saw a joint patrol of US green berets and Afghan forces come under attack by an attacker in an Afghan Army uniform. The attacker opened fire with a machine gun.

Casualty figures are still not settled. The Pentagon confirmed two US soldiers killed, and a number of others wounded. One Afghan soldier was also killed, though Afghan officials suggested 5-6 US soldiers and six Afghans were killed.

The attacker, who was also reported killed, has not been identified. Early speculation is that it was a Taliban infiltrator, though the incident took place in Nangarhar Province, which usually means ISIS involvement.

Exactly who it was in this particular case is less important, however, than the general trend, where insider attacks have been soaring in recent months. This just underscores that the situation is far from under control, and the Afghan military is still struggling with infiltration, one of its biggest and most enduring problems throughout the US occupation.

That’s just more bad news for how the US war is going in Afghanistan, and at a time when there are growing doubts about whether the US should continue the war into a third decade, it’s hard to not make the case that this is another unsolvable matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.