A paper weapon to defend against “green on blue” attacks
August 22nd, 2012
03:30 PM ET

A paper weapon to defend against “green on blue” attacks

By Barbara Starr

It's a fold-up pamphlet that any U.S. service member in Afghanistan can stick inside a uniform pocket and forget, or perhaps re-read often enough that it just might save their lives if they are attacked by uniformed Afghan personnel.

The title "Inside the Wire Threats - Afghanistan Green on Blue" says it all.

The number of U.S. and coalition troops killed by Afghans who turn their weapons on coalition forces is at an all-time high. The U.S. military says it's doing everything it can, from increased security measures to improved training, to help troops respond more quickly.

The pamphlet, which troops started to receive in February, is marked for "official use only" to ensure it is not distributed and read by the public, including the Taliban.

But a Defense Department official described portions of it to CNN. He said it advises troops under attack, who have their own weapons on them, to "resolve the situation with forces at hand" and not wait for backup. Unarmed troops at meetings or dining halls have been vulnerable in the past, but now, all are carrying their weapons preloaded with a magazine of ammunition. Weapons must be within arm's reach at all times, according to U.S. military sources.

The pamphlet also offers broad indicators of behaviors by Afghans that could indicate they are a threat, the Defense Department official said.

Things to watch for include if the person: complains about other countries or religions, advocates violence, undergoes a personality change, becomes isolated and doesn't want to be around others, speaks in favor of radical ideology or shows undue interest in coalition base headquarters or living quarters.

According to the official, so far, the U.S. believes 40% of recent attacks by Afghan security personnel against the coalition are due to Afghan members' own combat or emotional stress, and 15% are a result of intimidation by the insurgency or actually being recruited by it.

About 10% come from impersonators who are not part of the military. But in more than 30% of the cases, a clear reason for the attack is not found, the official said.

Troops are now also getting stateside training in how to recognize and deal with insider threats before they deploy to Afghanistan, the Defense Department official said.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Kinsey6

    Can someone please tell me what "wikileaks dtmcuenos" are?


    "Let me put it to you this way. Everything you know about the war, all the reports, all the numbers, everything is a lie. The establishment will never tell the truth. Don't be so naive. Go ahead. Read the wikileaks dtmcuenos. What're you afraid of?"

    October 20, 2017 at 3:12 am | Reply
  2. Jomar

    Alright then.I'M THE ONE whose being naive here.Someone who's obviously NOT on a bawodagnn and who supports an intervention that's been opportunistically and demagogically put to unwarranted shame.Someone who offers up polemics to a person who only gets responses of solipsism in return(THE STATE LIED LOL THAT MAKES ME LOOK SKEPTICAL AND COOL SAYING THAT).And if you ever thought that the Establishment was PRO-Iraq war you really are an idiot.Tell that to Kissinger and the Deep State

    October 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  3. Buratos9711

    I used to be very happy to search out this internet-site.I wanted to thanks to your time for this glorious read!!

    September 7, 2012 at 5:56 am | Reply
  4. NoN

    Typical of a top heavy useless bureaucracy to issue a booklet to troops on the line. And it sounds like a lot of its contents have already been compromised by the press and anonymous Pentagon officials. Like the Taliban doesn't read the news ... kind of sad.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      The pamphlett advises them to "resolve the situation" without calling for backup, gives board indicators to help I.D. behavior. Sounds like exactly what they needed. You are a moron.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  5. Popsiq

    Hostages? To be shot after any green on blue attack.
    Gimme a Sieg?

    August 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • Hogan's Goat

      Right, take a bunch of Sunni hostages and some Shi'ites will attack to get them killed, and vice versa. Too many factions. It's like taking liberal hostages so the tea party won't attack you.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  6. George Patton

    Maybe the Germans should have thought of this during WW2 when they occupied France, Poland and a host of other countries. Would this have helped them win? How about just getting out of Afghanistan altogether where we belong???

    August 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  7. G.I.Joe.

    What's the percentage of attacks that are caused by US or international personnel degrading Afghan soldiers or their families and culture. I'd bet its a significant percentage and there's an easy fix to it. US miliatry command has to acknowledge it happens and warn personnel that it is not acceptable and will be dealt with accordingly when discovered. When an Afghan goes to the superior of the person who degraded the and that superior also degrades them, this is unacceptable. Killing is not the correct response by Afghans.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      I agree.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Hogan's Goat

      You can't cure people's contempt. They have been taught to see Muslims, even fellow soldiers, as less than dogs. Fix their heads and they will be safer.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • Truefax

        Maybe if some of the afgans stopped using opium, and other stopped beating their wives, and other still stopped having intercourse with boys and goats. MAYBE then we'd have less contempt. Bunch of boy loving, goat fking, woman hating opium addicts.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Hogan's Goat

        "Maybe if some of the afgans stopped using opium, and other stopped beating their wives" Nothing would make you forgive them. Same as Mexicans and blacks, right? You are a hater.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • Angel

        Again, this shows that you haven't read the wikileaks dtmcuenos. Otherwise you would've known that was a lie. Let me put it to you this way. Everything you know about the war, all the reports, all the numbers, everything is a lie. The establishment will never tell the truth. Don't be so naive. Go ahead. Read the wikileaks dtmcuenos. What're you afraid of?

        October 13, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • doughnuts

      Backwards, as usual. The Afghans have been tought to see everyone that isn't a member of their sect of Islam as sub-human. That these kufr are in a position of relative authority in the Afghan's own country is doubly intolerable. Thus, the murders.
      It gives them "street-cred" with the Taliban, and clears the assumed stain on their honor.

      I favor an immediate scorched-earth withdrawal from Afghanistan.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Hogan's Goat

        "I favor an immediate scorched-earth withdrawal from Afghanistan." Amen. We never should have tried to occupy them; that only works if you intend to stay forever. I'd have done what Reagan, Bush the First, Clinton, and Carter did: bomb the H out of them a few times, drop troops in and finish them off, and be home for dinner. Dubya let Cheney just go nuts on Afgh and Iraq.

        August 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • cmc

      Give ME a break. US troops are on their knees catering to these Afghans and they always have their hands out for more money, more, more, more. Heaven forbid we offend an Afghan! It's absurd and has reduced US troops to servants. I know this to be a fact – – I am a part of this madness every single day!

      August 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • JPS

        right on the nail head cmc, I also am here in Afghanistan and see it everyday

        August 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.