‘Hatred Is Growing Rapidly’: Afghan Soldiers Killing More of Their US Allies

Matthew Rosenberg, MSNBC, January 20, 2012

American and other coalition forces here are being killed in increasing numbers by the very Afghan soldiers they fight alongside and train, in attacks motivated by deep-seated animosity between the supposedly allied forces, according to American and Afghan officers and a classified coalition report obtained by The New York Times.

A decade into the war in Afghanistan, the report makes clear that these killings have become the most visible symptom of a far deeper ailment plaguing the war effort: the contempt each side holds for the other, never mind the Taliban. The ill will and mistrust run deep among civilians and militaries on both sides, raising questions about what future role the United States and its allies can expect to play in Afghanistan.

The violence, and the failure by coalition commanders to address it, casts a harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of American efforts to build a functional Afghan Army, a pillar of the Obama administration’s strategy for extricating the United States from the war in Afghanistan, said the officers and experts who helped shape the strategy.

The problems risk leaving the United States and its allies dependent on an Afghan force that is permeated by anti-Western sentiment and incapable of combating the Taliban and other militants when NATO’s combat mission ends in 2014, they said.


But the most troubling fallout has been the mounting number of Westerners killed by their Afghan allies, events that have been routinely dismissed by American and NATO officials as isolated episodes that are the work of disturbed individual soldiers or Taliban infiltrators, and not indicative of a larger pattern. The unusually blunt report, which was prepared for a subordinate American command in eastern Afghanistan, takes a decidedly different view.

“Lethal altercations are clearly not rare or isolated; they reflect a rapidly growing systemic homicide threat (a magnitude of which may be unprecedented between ‘allies’ in modern military history),” it said. Official NATO pronouncements to the contrary “seem disingenuous, if not profoundly intellectually dishonest,” said the report, and it played down the role of Taliban infiltrators in the killings.


{snip} Although NATO does not release a complete tally of its forces’ deaths at the hands of Afghan soldiers and the police, the classified report and coalition news releases indicate that Afghan forces have attacked American and allied service members nearly three dozen times since 2007.

{snip} The classified report found that between May 2007 and May 2011, when it was completed, at least 58 Western service members were killed in 26 separate attacks by Afghan soldiers and the police nationwide. Most of those attacks have occurred since October 2009. This toll represented 6 percent of all hostile coalition deaths during that period, the report said.

“The sense of hatred is growing rapidly,” said an Afghan Army colonel. He described his troops as “thieves, liars and drug addicts,” but also said that the Americans were “rude, arrogant bullies who use foul language.”


There have been successes, especially among the elite Afghan commandos and coalition Special Operations forces, most of whom have undergone in-depth cultural training and speak at least some Dari and Pashto, the two main languages spoken in Afghanistan. But, as highlighted by the classified report, familiarity in most cases appears to have mainly bred contempt—and that, in turn, has undercut the benefits of pairing up the forces.


“If you get two 18-year-olds from two different cultures and put them in New York, you get a gang fight,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington who has advised the American military on its Afghan strategy.

“What you have here are two very different cultures with different values,” he said in a telephone interview. “They treat each other with contempt.”


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  • Anonymous

    the cops originally tried to cover this up by saying it was blacks and an asian WHEN

  • Anonymous

    Yeah what a big surprise. Afghani’s (and most other Muslims in the middle east) are very tribal and not at all fond of being occupied by foreign invaders  Perhaps the US should have cracked open a history book and read what happened to the Russians.

    • To Sonya610:
       Actually, this is a great post. You’re right, we have no business sticking our noses in other peoples affairs. It’s time to end expanding the empire and ending that costly war.  Thanks!!

      • Anonymous

        I couldn’t agree more. We will NEVER change those people and their culture, nor should we even be trying. Get our troops out and let the cards fall where they may over there. I saw a brief story yesterday about the Iraq government falling apart since our withdrawal, and this is what I say…. NOT our problem. They have to figure out their own busniess without our interference. Which brings me to another topic: Iran. It makes my blood run cold when I hear some calling for a military intervention in that country. Ron Paul is the only one that makes sense to me when it comes to foreign policy, yet he was nearly booed off the stage in SC for expressing his ideas. Insane.

        • Anonymous

          An insane, failed country…..I just laugh about it now….we are getting exactly what we deserve.

          • Anonymous

            In all fairness the Russians did a real job on them and the Russians were largely responsible for sending the society back into the stone age. Sure they had some problems before the Russian invasion, however the war was so brutal that it forced the middle and upper class Afghani’s and pretty much all of the intellectuals and professionals to flee the country. As a result the people that were left were the poorest and least educated.

          • Anonymous

            Well, the Russians might have done a real job on them but here again, the US stuck it’s nose it other’s affairs. We are the ones that armed those “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan to help them defeat Russia, which may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but those “freedom fighters” also became known as the Taliban, and some would argue gave rise to radical Islam in that country. We have former Congressman Charlie Wilson  to thank for that. I guess no good deed (at the time) goes unpunished.

  • Anonymous

    ” the Americans were ‘rude, arrogant bullies who use foul language.’ ” So says the afghan colonel who comes from a culture that lops off heads of random afghan citizen who doesn’t strickly follow their medieval religion, and who stone women to death for the slightest violation your “human property status” dress code you have ordered them to obey. Can’t have them Americans cussin’ while they are getting shot and killed for your sorry backside, now, can we sir.

    Being a Vietnam combat veteran, colonel, I know the feeling of fighting for a people who doesn’t care in the slightest for personal freedom while expecting foreigners to do their fighting for them. Face it, colonel, no matter what Afghan group comes out on top, you’ll still be riding in your donkey cart and killing your fellow citizens if they don’t bow quick enough.

    I’m sure American military personnel in your stone age country aren’t exact thrilled fighting for an illiterate people who use a bare hand to wipe their backsides, and then hold their liberators in contempt while they fight in a country without a sanitation system to speak of.

    Now get in your donkey cart and go home to your wife, the one who has to wear a blanket over her head while in public or face a whuppin’ from you if she doesn’t.

    • Anonymous

      Well perhaps next time we should ask the people to vote on whether they would LIKE to be liberated and have their country bombed into smithereens in the process. If they vote “yes” then we can expect them to kiss our behinds in gratitude.

      Who knows maybe the majority would vote yes, invade our country and liberate us, but we didn’t ask so we don’t know. I will say I had a few Iranians tell me they wish the US government would take out the Iranian Regime but I was skeptical about that. Sure they say that, but when the pictures of dead Iranian kids blown up during aerial bombings starts hitting their news stations (and yes the TV stations over there do show things of that nature, unlike American audiences that hoot and hollar for bombing raids but can’t stomach seeing a drop of blood in modern war footage) in my gut I think they would change their mind and fight for their people.

      • Anonymous

        Not to mention it’s not our place to topple foreign governments. That didn’t work out so well for us in Iraq.

  • Why does Ron Paul get more contributions from active duty military members than all the other Presidential candidates combined, Obama included?  Articles like this are why.  Also, National Review (of all sources) succinctly explained why:  Rubble doesn’t cause trouble, not three cups of tea.

  • US tax $$ fail to make friends agian

  • Anonymous

    When we see a large number of our people being abused at the hands of Blacks………

    When Afghans see a large number of their people being abused at the hands of Americans…….

    Come on, what would you do?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry, our crazy politicians will soon invade/occupy yet another 6th world craph*le.

    Too bad a sane politician like Dr Paul does not stand a chance.

    More of the same……that is this failed country’s future.

  • yea but the media will never blare the news, they will make hay out the Marines uninating on the dead terroists, the Marines doing what they did, and with this news about turncoat Afgan tropps and police gives new meaning to  the phrase ” PISSING IN THE WIND ”

  • Anonymous

    police officers ARRESTED!!!   BY FBI for enforcing our laws AGAINST ILLEGAL MEXICANS

  • Anonymous

    It would have been easier to just stop letting them in this country and leave them to bash each other’s heads in a mad rage at “our freedoms.”

    But think of all the M-16s, Hummers, and JDAMs that wouldn’t have been built!

    There’s a very powerful cabal of war profiteers and financiers toasting champagne and laughing that you are still taken in by fear of the Mooslim 10,000 miles away on the other side of the world while the once-great ruins that were your rights and freedoms continue to erode around you.

  • Anonymous

    Islam is the enemy but our liberal/socialist/marxist leaders think they can partner with these 7th century throwbacks and rule the world together. Well, we will see who rules whom when the heads start to roll.

  • Anonymous

    How can you compare the two? They are not at ALL the same! If we had moved in and bombed the Russians when they were at war with them then yes, they would have seen us as allies because they were already fighting the Russians!  But they were not fighting a mutual enemy when we went in and took over.

    Those middle eastern countries are really not suited to Democracy, as soon as you go in and overthrow the current leader they are all going to start fighting with each other to fill the position and that fighting will inevitably cause problems for the US. Even in the rare cases where democracy DOES work like with the Palestinians the US was unhappy because they democratically elected Hamas and we didn’t approve of their choice.

  • “If you get two 18-year-olds from two different cultures and put them in
    New York, you get a gang fight,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a defense
    expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in
    Washington who has advised the American military on its Afghan strategy.

    Funny, I remember being 18 once, an increasingly longer and longer time ago.  Someone on my dorm floor, also an 18-year old, was from Hungary.  Funny that, I don’t remember any gang fights between the two of us.  I also don’t remember any gang fights between myself and the 18-year old blacks in the Freshman class. 

    But not far away from campus, there were many gang fights between 18-year old men of the exact same culture.

  • Those three cups of tea you want are really expensive.