Most joint U.S.-Afghan military operations have been suspended following what authorities believe was an insider attack Sunday that left four American soldiers dead, officials told NBC News.
“We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said. So far this year, 51 NATO troops have been killed in these so-called blue-on-green attacks. Sunday's attack came a day after two British soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan policeman, Reuters reported.
Such attacks are far from new, but as the BBC helpfully shows, they have been accelerating considerably:
2007 - 2 attacks, 2 Isaf soldiers dead
2008 - 2 attacks, 2 dead
2009 - 6 attacks, 10 dead
2010 - 6 attacks, 20 dead
2011 - 21 attacks, 35 dead
2012 (so far) - 36 attacks, 51 dead
It is unfortunate that the war in Afghanistan has barely been mentioned so far in the presidential campaign, mainly due to the fact that there really isn’t much difference between the two parties policy in regards to the situation there, rhetoric notwithstanding. The above is only the latest in a series of signs that NATO has long overstayed its welcome in the country. The war has become a festering wound far removed from its original purpose. We’re now not only involved with the continual killing of innocent Afghan civilians, like the eight women and children killed while gathering firewood last week as noted in the first story, but also bombing the border regions of Pakistan, and stirring up more than a little internal strife in that country as well. All of which colours and impacts the alliance’s relations with the other powers in the region and Muslim countries around the world, and generally not for the better.
I’d say it’s long past time to leave.