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The defense budget

Afghan soldiers killing record number of advisors

The number of Afghan soldiers and police attacking their American trainers is becoming a major problem. Even worse, the attacks are now so frequent - 6% of total combat fatalities - that ISAF is no longer reporting details of the fratricide incidents. Instead they leave it up to the country that the fallen service member belongs to.

This would not be a big deal if the home countries publicly disclosed the details, but they don't. And our government will unlikely be doing so as the ugly truth on the battlefield doesn't sit well with the political narrative in Washington. From my piece at The US Report:

Multiple service members have already been murdered by rogue Afghans in 2012, including one US Army soldier, Pfc. Dustin P. Napier, who was reportedly killed while playing volleyball in Zabul Province on January 8.

ISAF's press release reads: “An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.”

At least two other US soldiers were injured in the attack.

It takes some investigative journalism to learn whether US service members are killed by their Afghan counterparts. The New York Times determined the name of the fallen soldier from “Afghan officials” – the Pentagon disclosed Napier's cause of death simply as “injuries from small-arms fire.”

Finding out all the grisly details on how our sons and daughters died isn't my point of contention. My problem is that we are sending people into a foreign country to train Afghans to handle their own security - and the Afghans are killing them. I understand that not every Afghan soldier or policeman is the problem, but when one out of every 15 caskets coming home is filled with an American who was killed by the countryman who he or she was helping, that's a major problem.

And when we have to trust the New York Times to find out how our soldiers are dying, that's just as bad.

Pfc. Napier, he is just as much a hero as he would have been if it were a Taliban bullet that killed him, no different than Pat Tillman. But to allow our government to hide the drastic increase in fratricide attacks in Afghanistan would be doing a major disservice to these brave mens' - and womens' - sacrifice.

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