September 1, 2011: Nearly three percent of NATO deaths in Afghanistan have been caused by Afghan security forces, or Taliban wearing uniforms and pretending to be friendly troops or police. Actually, about a third of these killing are carried out by Afghan soldiers or police suffering from combat fatigue (stress, PTSD). They more frequently kill other Afghans, but those deaths receive little exposure in the Western media.
About ten percent of the attackers are pretenders. The uniforms are acquired by bribes or via purchase from tailors who have learned how to make convincing facsimiles. Afghan police are now hunting for these entrepreneurs, one of whom even set up a small factory to turn out counterfeit army uniforms.
While “rogue Afghan soldiers” get most of the headlines, about twenty percent of these NATO deaths were caused by real Afghan soldiers and police who were bribed or coerced (by kidnapping a parent, or threatening to) into doing it. About half the attacks are by Taliban who joined the police or army to act as “insiders” for the Taliban. But it’s becoming more difficult for a known Taliban, or Taliban sympathizer to join the security forces. Applicants must bring two recommendations from elders in their village or neighborhood. Then fingerprints and iris scans are taken, and quickly compared to a database containing all current and former government employees, and anyone arrested for criminal behavior (or suspicion of same.)
Thus these attacks stem from several sources, one of the more common being anger management issues so common among Afghan men. Then there is the corruption and ruthlessness. It remains easy to bribe or coerce a real soldier or policeman to try and kill NATO troops, or to get real or counterfeit uniforms and train some Taliban to look like troops long enough to get close and open fire.