By Mike Mount
Afghan President Hamid Karzai showed up to the Pentagon on Thursday with a wish list of military equipment to ensure the security of his country by the time NATO forces leave at the end of 2014.
In return, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had a message to deliver – the United States wants to make sure Afghanistan does not become a terrorist safe haven again.
Karzai's meeting with Panetta, occurring under a cloud of mistrust between both countries, was expected to have some tough talk about the future of Afghanistan. But publicly, the image seemed like there was no trouble at all.
It was the first stop for the Afghan president who was to have dinner with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday and meet with President Barack Obama on Friday.
By Barbara Starr
A deadly assault on American forces in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend stokes fears of a disturbing new form of "insider attack" - an assault on coalition forces by an Afghan military unit rather than a lone attacker.
U.S. forces apparently took fire on Saturday from several Afghan troops shooting at them from several directions, according to a U.S. military official familiar with initial results of the investigation.
NATO and Afghan officials investigating the Wardak province assault are expected to make their findings public soon, maybe as early as Wednesday, the official said.
From Masoud Popalzai, CNN
U.S. Special Operations Forces has suspended the training of Afghan Local Police recruits while it double checks the background of the current police force following a rise in attacks against NATO troops by their Afghan counterparts, an official said Sunday.
The order follows reports that more than 40 NATO troops were killed this year by either members of the Afghan security forces or by insurgents disguised as an Afghan policeman or soldier.
"Current partnered operations have and will continue, even as we temporarily suspend training of about 1,000 new ALP recruits while revetting current members," said Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
"While we have full trust and confidence in our Afghan partners, we believe this is a necessary step to validate our vetting process and ensure the quality indicative of Afghan Local Police."
By Larry Shaughnessy
The war in Afghanistan is evolving with a growing number of attacks by Afghan security force personnel on American troops, incidents that have been called "green-on-blue" attacks. It's a term that the Pentagon wants to go away.
So far this year the number of such attacks is nearly double the number for the same period last year. And this year 37 Americans have died, compared with 28 in 2011.
"Make no mistake about it, I've been very concerned about these incidents ... because of the lives lost and because of the potential damage to our partnership efforts," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the name "green-on-blue" is a misnomer.
By Larry Shaughnessy
America's strategy in Afghanistan has been clear: Have U.S. troops step back from combat to focus on training Afghan National Security Forces so they can take over in 2014.
To hear the administration and military tell it, the plan is working.
"We're building the capacity of Afghans, partnering with communities and police and security forces, which are growing stronger," President Barack Obama said last year.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said just about the same thing last month. "We have built up an Afghan army so that they are increasingly in the lead for their operations. And they are every day improving their capability."
But are the Afghans better soldiers, or is the military lowering the standards by which it measures the Afghan National Security Forces?
By Mike Mount
An Afghanistan government assessment of its own police force raises concern that unresolved issues are undermining the ability to take over security in the country, according to a report obtained by Security Clearance.
The report by the Afghan Interior Ministry looks at five major threats facing the Afghan National Police. They range across the spectrum of long-time problems inside Afghanistan and include outside terrorist threats and armed opposition to the Afghan government, unlawful governance and corruption, illegal drug trade, organized crime and illegally armed groups. Resolving the threats is critical not just for the police force but also for overall stability as the country seeks to take over security from U.S. and NATO forces by the end of 2014.
The threats, narrowed down from "a list of numerous others," according to NATO officials, are identified in the Afghan National Police Strategy report obtained by Security Clearance.