first published on June 17, 2017 by Sean
Seven U.S. Service members were injured today in another apparent insider attack at Camp Shaheen, near the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.This attack comes just one week after a similar incident in Nangahar province – Both attacks were conducted by members of the Afghan Commandos.
The attacks occurred amidst the recent US announcement that Secretary Mattis has been authorized by President Trump to set troop levels in Afghanistan. Subsequent reports have stated that 4,000 more US troops have been authorized to deploy to Afghanistan, largely in a training and advise mission. Additionally, Secretary Mattis has also told lawmakers that he will have a comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan by mid-July.
The attack occurred during a training exercise with at least 7 US service members being wounded by RPG’s and small arms fire. The Military Times has reported attacker was shot dead by an “American armed with a pistol” and that the incident is under investigation. The incident, which occurred at Camp Shaheen near the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, is the headquarters of the Afghan 209th Corp and was also the site of the Afghan army massacre in April, which killed at least 140. Mazar-e Sharif was liberated by the Northern Alliance (with US assistance) early after the 2001 invasion, and over much of the war enjoyed a level of security not seen by most of the country.
This attack occurred just one week after another brutal incident in which three US service members were killed by an Afghan Commando in the Peka Valley of Nangahar province. The so called “green on blue” attacks, which were at their height during 2012, have seen a slight resurgence this year with these several incidents occurring. These attacks certainly raise concerns as apparently 4,000 additional US troops are headed to Afghanistan on a mission to advise and train Afghan security forces. A mission that will put them directly into situations where these incidents may occur.
Secretary Mattis promised lawmakers this past week that he would have a comprehensive strategy for America’s longest running war by mid-July. He also indicated that US advisors may take a more active role with Afghan units and possible even embed tactical air controllers within Afghan units during combat operations. With this new role for advisors, and Sec. Mattis’s experience as the CENTCOM commander from 2010-2013 during the height of green-on-blue attacks, it’s a safe bet that these incidents and their prevention will be addressed. A forward thinking strategy is in desperate need for Afghanistan – As the Taliban grabs more territory and ISIS-K continues to grow. Fortunately, this time around it’s going to be Sec. Mattis’s strategy.