(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Pentagon doesn’t know what to make of allegations by Afghan officials that foreign intelligence services are primarily responsible for a recent spike in “insider” attacks that left 10 U.S. troops dead at the hands of Afghan security forces over a two-week period.
Overall, there have been 40 NATO troops killed in these assaults this year that were initially blamed on fatigue and stress affecting Afghan soldiers and police.
Gen. John Allen, commander of all coalition forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged on Thursday that the Taliban might have more of a role in “insider” attacks than previously believed.
Allen said that in addition to the 10 percent of Taliban infiltrators thought to have committed the killings, another 15 percent could possibly be pinned on Afghan forces influenced by the Taliban either directly or through other people.
In spite of the problem, Allen says it won’t waylay plans to hand over all security responsibilities to the Afghans by 2014, saying, “The closer the relationship with them — indeed the more we can foster a relationship of brotherhood — the more secure we are.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson and Barbie Nadeau, CNN Newswire
Tiffany Ap and Brian Todd, CNN Newswire