Following another “green-on-blue” attack Tuesday that left five U.S. troops in Afghanistan wounded, an International Security Assistance Force spokesman was quick to put an official “spin” on the incident. At the same time, however, he revealed that ISAF officials recently changed their approach and are now getting more involved in efforts to stop these attacks.
Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura, according to a Stars and Stripes newspaper article today, said that the number of attacks against U.S. and NATO troops by members of the Afghan National Security Force is low relative to the number of Afghan troops and police working with ISAF forces. That’s the spin. Evidence of a change of approach in combating the attacks appeared in the article’s fifth paragraph:
“First and foremost, ISAF is getting together with our Afghan National Security Partners on the vetting and process they use,” he said, adding, “What we’re trying to do is make sure that any of the mitigation does not damage the trust we’ve built between the (Afghan National Security Forces) and coalition units.”
When asked via email April 4 about the process via which ANSF members were being vetted prior to working alongside U.S. and NATO forces, LTC Jimmie E. Cummings told me the following:
“ISAF or U.S. are not responsible for vetting Afghans for either the Afghan National Army or Police. The Afghans use a 8-step process in vetting their candidates.”
An ISAF public affairs officer, Colonel Cummings went on to refer me and my questions about the ANSF vetting process to Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Interior. Unfortunately, Sediqqi acknowledged receipt of my questions via email but has yet to reply with answers despite repeated followup attempts. As a result, I’m forced to rely upon a NATO Media Backgrounder, dated March 2011, for details of the ANSF vetting process. Highlighting ANSF’s eight-step vetting process, an excerpt from that paper appears below:
Recruitment is now following an 8-step vetting process. Upon signing the enlistment contract agreement, the recruit must get two individuals (village elder, Mullah, or other local government representative) to sign and vouch for the recruit. These individuals are held responsible if any discrepancy in the contract is found. The recruit’s paperwork and government ID is reviewed and basic biometric information (retinal scan, fingerprints, height, age, and weight) is collected, added to the recruit’s personnel file and accompanies the recruit to training. The biometric data is then checked to see if the individual has any known criminal or insurgent links. Approximately 6% of applicants are screened out for either drug use or medical conditions.
In a country where record keeping can be described as “suspect” at best and where corruption runs rampant, it’s no surprise that ANSF’s approach to date has done little to prevent the green-on-blue attacks.
In my soon-to-be-published second nonfiction book, The CLAPPER MEMO, I’ll expose never-before-published details of my investigation into the “green-on-blue” attacks and other matters related to the interrogation technologies now being used — and, in some cases, not used — by U.S. military and intelligence officials in world hotspots for things such as vetting detainees, enemy combatants and third-country nationals.
The product of more than three years of painstaking investigation, dozens of interviews and a whole lot of Freedom of Information Act requests, The CLAPPER MEMO goes so far as to connect the dots between a single memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr., the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official, and the green-on-blue deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan since that memo was issued.
UPDATE 7/5/12 at 9:48 a.m. Central: Via email yesterday, Colonel Cummings denied that anything has changed in the way ISAF is handling it’s advisory role in Afghanistan.
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While you await the release of The CLAPPER MEMO, be sure to order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice. It, too, will make your blood boil! Thanks in advance!
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