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11 August 2012


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different clue

Are the green-on-blue attackers drawn equally from across all of Afghanistan's ethnic groups? Or are they predominantly (or even solely) drawn from among the Pashtuns?

For that matter, were the Taliban themselves drawn from any group other than the Pashtuns?

Babak Makkinejad

A commentator on this web site with area experience had stated that the "Taliban"/Insurgents/Anti-NATO Partisans are, for the most part, locally-based and only loosely tied and a wider geographic or strategic level.

I also recall Col. Lang stating, several months ago in connection with the Quran-burning incident - when some people in Qandahar took to burning crosses - that NATO cannot stay in Afghanistan in any manner after 2014.

So, putting these two observation together my question to this board is this:

"Could such incidents be traced to the Quran-burning incident several months ago?"

That is, are these incidents a manifestation of a religious war in which NATO has been identified as enemy of Islam by large swaths of Afghan population?


Babak Makkinejad

We experienced our first and only "green on blue" incident early on in our deployment in RC North. A thorough investigation followed, and one of the things we concluded was that the burning of the koran in Florida didn't directly contribute to the killing of our two soldiers. The afghan border police officer who did the shooting had some other serious issues he was dealing at the time that ultimately pushed him over the edge. Efforts by insurgent groups to contact and recruit him did not begin until AFTER he had shot the two soldiers. In another green on blue incident in RC North, this time involving a different country, I believe the investigation later showed that the shooter had ties to the insurgency. During the remainder of my time in Northern Afghanistan, there were several other "green on blue" incidents in which the motives were across the board from stress, a percieved slight, mistreatment, to actual recruitment/influence by insurgent groups. So I would say to pin down one single event such as the burning of the Koran, might not give you as complete an answer as you would like.

Different clue, to provide some answer for your question; I can't say they are "equally" drawn from across the ethnic groups, but there were attackers that came from non-pashtun groups. The shooter for our attack was an Uzbek. I think the other shooter I mentioned may have been a Pashtun. A shooting several months later on the coalition part of the Kabul Airport was done by a Tajik. I never saw any analsysis on that question during my time in country. And yes, non-Pashtun groups in Afghanistan will adopt the Taliban moniker for various reasons.

Babak Makkinejad

OK, thanks.

I read somewhere that in India the Hindu-Muslim religious riots involved Sunni Muslims for the most part (10,000 to 1 - if my memory serves me) as opposed to Shia Muslims (both the 12-Imam and the 7-Imam variants.)

Did something like that also obtain in Afghanistan?

[The Quran-burning incident that I had in mind was the one in which US soldiers were burning refuse and not the Quran-burning in US.]

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