In an interview with 60 Minutes, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan warned that the attacks by Afghan soldiers on coalition forces will not be ending anytime soon. Speaking with Laura Logan, General John Allen said that he was “mad as hell” about the deaths of allied soldiers at the hands of Afghans — so-called “green on blue” attacks in military parlance:
ALLEN: You know, we’re — we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we’re not willing to be murdered for it.
General Allen also compared green on blue attacks to the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) in the Iraq War, labeling these insider attacks as the “signature attack” of the Afghanistan conflict. Watch the interview here:
Allen’s statements reflect the allied frustration with the current situation in Afghanistan. A recent halt in training operations between U.S. forces and the Afghan National Army as a result of the insider attacks has not fully been lifted. The airing of the 60 Minutes interview comes as American forces recorded the 2,000th death in Afghanistan since the war began almost eleven years ago. In all, more than 50 allied troops have been killed in green on blue attacks so far this year.
The surge in Afghans turning on trainers and mentors has prompted NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rassmussen to float the possibility that members of the alliance may withdraw their military forces from Afghanistan earlier than agreed upon. Such a move would impact current planning for the end of U.S. combat operations by 2013 and a full withdrawal of NATO forces by 2014.