News translation: Insider-killings will continue in Afghanistan

This is in the Danish news on Politiken but nowhere on the British news. The British news (especially, the Guardian), have been covering a lot on Afghanistan recently, so it is a bit weird. Maybe they didn’t have it translated yet.

Anyway, the British minister got up in front of Parliament a few days ago and said that there would be no change of strategy. Actually, hang on, I’ll copy and paste exactly what he said from the Independent because it is critical you understand what he said on 17th September.

“Our servicemen and women are doing vital work protecting the UK from the threat of international terrorism.

“Our strategy is clear – we are mentoring and training the Afghan army and police to deliver security to their own people…

The Taliban hate this strategy and seek to wreck it through insider attacks.

“They aim to disrupt the collaboration with Afghan forces which is at the heart of our strategy. We cannot and we will not allow the process to be derailed.”

Mr Hammond said the partnership with the Afghan security forces “involved risk but it is essential to success”.

Notice how it’s the “Taliban” behind the green-on-blue attacks, when the “approved” line in August was “25% are Taliban attacks, 75% are when an Afghan soldier is so pissed off by an ISAF soldier(s), all they can think about is murdering them.”

The very next day, 18th September, ISAF (Nato forces in Afghanistan), banned joint patrols below the battalion level.

19th September they released the following:-

ISAF remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our ANSF counterparts. The ISAF SFA model is focused at the battalion level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders. Partnering occurs at all levels, from Platoon to Corps. This has not changed.

In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the “Innocence of Muslims” video, ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks. This means that in some local instances, operational tempo has been reduced, or force protection has been increased. These actions balance the tension of the recent video with force protection, while maintaining the momentum of the campaign.

Ok, so I’m pretty sure George Orwell was condemning the use of double speak in his novel but here we can see Nato using it as a model for communication. Translation into single speak:-

“We’re not sending soldiers out with the Afghans in smaller groups than 400 unless absolutely fucking necessary. This is because the Afghans keep shooting ISAF soldiers. Here is a “reason” why we are doing it today and not when the uptick began.”

(9th September, before the film went viral, the green-on-blue killings were at 45, already smashing the previous year’s record of 35. It is now 51, twenty days later.)

Ok, so politicians and generals lie. That is hardly breaking news. They know if they tell the truth, there is not a population on the planet that would support the war. They also know that our collective attention span is small like a gnat. We consume news like entertainment. “Oh, chocolate rations have gone up, well that’s something.”

I am not some saint just because I started paying attention. I only care because I have someone out there. Which is sick considering how many people have been maimed and killed, all because I did not lift a finger to put political pressure on the politicians to stop this YEARS AGO.

Here is the Danish article from 20th September. It’s pretty weird to translate back into English, why isn’t the original transcript anywhere? He made this speech 9 days ago.

Last weekend, an Afghan policeman killed two British soldiers in Afghanistan.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of so-called “insider attacks” where Afghan soliders or police officers kill their foreign colleagues.

According to the British defence minister, Philip Hammond, who visited his Danish counterpart Nick Hækkerup (S) in the last few days, there is a part the Nato forces can play in avoiding attacks.

And the weekend’s attacks call for reflection for what we can do differently.

Danger signals are clear

“It’s easy to have 20/20 hindsight but the danger signals were clear. In hindsight we can see that there was an unknown person who came in to the base. The attack was not carried out by the group of Afghans who were on the base at the time,” said Philip Hammond.

He thinks that ISAF soldiers ought to work primarily with a fixed group of Afghan soldiers for a longer amount of time.

“The problems typically start when ISAF soldiers come into contact with groups of Afghan soldiers on an ad hoc basis,” said Hammond.

The British defence minister also underline that both the Afghan forces and ISAF already had tightened security. For instance, the Afghan soldiers are  checked an extra time when they come home from leave and more intelligence officers are there.

“I don’t want to sit here and say that we can stop insider attacks totally. That would be a great challenge in a country where the culture is like that, that conflicts are solved by the use of force,” said Philip Hammond (translator insert: the man in charge of solving conflicts overseas with force, yeah, it’s totally cultural to use force to get what you want.)

“It’s not only about ideological motives or rebellion. It’s also a reflection of the culture in the country. But I think that we will be able to reduce the number of attacks significantly.”

51 international soldiers killed in insider attacks this year

Hammond recognises that the Afghan security forces obviously will continue to experience internal attacks when ISAF forces leave Afghanistan.

There are far more cases where Afghan soldiers are killed by their Afghan colleagues than the cases where a NATO solider is a victim.

“We have to accept that it’s their country and after we leave, they will do things in a different way,” he said.

According to the BBC, 51 international soldiers lost their lives in insider attacks this year so far. Last year, 35 were killed in the whole year.

Interesting how his line has changed from “The Taliban have a dastardly plan” to “these savages are just murderous culturally” and “we ought to know the local soldiers better so that units cannot be infiltrated.”