By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013 – Effective counterintelligence training and vigilance has helped to reduce the threat of insider attacks to one this year, the commander of U.S. Central Command said here today.
Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the decline of “green-on-blue” violence in Afghanistan, where Afghan soldiers attack U.S. military personnel and their coalition partners.
As of September 2012, 45 International Security Assistance Force members had been killed during insider attacks.
“It goes to the very heart of trust,” Mattis said. “So far this year, [there’s only been] one attack. Now, I do not get complacent. I think I know why it's gone down. It has to do with training.
“It has to do with counterintelligence training we've given to the Afghans so they have ferreted out some of these people inside their ranks, and caught them,” he added. “And we have very good techniques for doing that.”
Despite the decline in attacks, Mattis said there has been very little change in interaction with Afghan troops.
Mattis said if contrasted to two years ago, “you would probably find very little difference in what you saw as far as our troops interacting with their troops.”
“We are very much involved with them, integrated with them,” he said. “We are obviously taking what you would consider prudent measures in the field to protect ourselves.”
Mattis noted Afghan troops have lost more of their own in “green-on-green” than U.S. forces have in green-on-blue attacks.
“So we have had wholehearted support from the Afghan leadership in addressing this problem,” he said. “And it appears to be paying off.”