Author: Javid Ahmad

The Taliban’s “Cultural Weapon” that is Driving US and Afghan Forces Apart

Editor’s note: This op-ed, by MWI Non-Resident Fellow Javid Ahmad, is based on a research report recently published by MWI. Read the full report here.   The brazen Taliban attack on an Afghan military base in northern Afghanistan on Friday that killed more than 130 Afghan soldiers represented a major intelligence failure. A photograph by the Taliban shows 10 assailants dressed in Afghan army uniforms who breached multiple security checkpoints at the base in military vehicles before going on a killing spree. In a Twitter message, a Taliban spokesperson claimed that four Afghan soldiers were Taliban infiltrators who helped the attackers in entering the...

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What Drives Insider Attacks in Afghanistan?

Editor’s note: This op-ed, by MWI Non-Resident Fellow Javid Ahmad, is based on a research report recently published by MWI. Read the full report here.   On March 19, three U.S. soldiers were injured and one Afghan commando killed in a so-called green-on-blue attack when an Afghan soldier opened fire in a base in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. It was yet another instance in which a disgruntled Afghan soldier turned his gun to kill either NATO personnel or Afghan forces or facilitated Taliban fighters’ attempts to do so. Such insider attacks threaten to undo the progress made after 15 years of war...

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An Analysis of “Insider Attacks” in Afghanistan: An MWI Report

Insider attacks—attacks by insurgents posing as Afghan police or military personnel against local or international forces—have become an important threat to the American and NATO personnel in Afghanistan. “We’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we are not willing to be murdered for it,” as Gen. John R. Allen, then commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, put it in 2012.  Since 2007, insider attacks have resulted in the death of at least 157 NATO personnel and 557 members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The attacks have affected the public narrative...

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