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article imageAmerican general killed in Afghan attack identified

By George McGinn     Aug 5, 2014 in World
Kabul - An American two-star general, who was killed in an attack at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, has been identified as Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest-ranking American officer killed in combat since 1970.
Greene, and more than a dozen other U.S. and coalition forces, including a brigadier general from the German Army were wounded in the attack earlier in the day.
Greene, an engineer by training, was in Afghanistan as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command.
According to sources in the Pentagon, Greene was preparing Afghan forces to take over after the U.S. and coalition forces pull out by the end of the year.
The attack at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University is one of the bloodiest "insider" attacks, or what has been labeled in the past as "Green on Blue" attacks.
A Gunman dressed in an Afghan soldier's uniform open fired on allied troops, wounding more than a dozen, including a German general and two Afghan generals.
Insider attacks have continued, possibly on the rise, since President Barack Obama announced two years ago his withdrawal plans.
Another recent attack in eastern Paktia province involved an Afghan police guard who shot at and exchanged fire with NATO troops near the governor's office, according to provincial police. The guard was killed in the gunfight.
Afghan police are not clear if the two attacks are related, but an investigation into a link is ongoing.
Lt. Col. Haji Wali Mohammad Ahmad Zai  commander  2nd Kandak  2nd Brigade  205th Afghan National Arm...
Lt. Col. Haji Wali Mohammad Ahmad Zai, commander, 2nd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, speaks with village elders from Janan Keley, Afghanistan, about the security situation in their community. The villagers in Janan Keley are thankful for the ANA's renewed presence in their area as it offers them some degree of security against Taliban persecution. (US Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough)
US Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough
And in February, an attack by men wearing Afghan security force uniforms killed two US troops and wounded four others in the Kapisa province, east of Kabul, according to Department of Defense officials.
In that battle, US troops killed four Afghan attackers during the exchange of gunfire.
The February attack is one in a series of battles between our supposed allies, the Afghanistan security forces, who directed their weapons and training acquired by US advisers against American troops.
The insider attacks on NATO-led forces in February caused the suspension of all U.S. and Afghanistan joint training and activities, which is the foundation of the President Obama's mission in Afghanistan.
In 2013, 10 such attacks by Afghan security forces trained by US advisers resulted in the deaths of 15 members of the International Security Assistance Force, most of them American troops.
Even the Taliban has made statements that once the American troops leave, they will come back, in force, and take over Afghanistan again.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed in an interview with the BBC said that his group is confident that it will regain its previous oppressive powers in Afghanistan after the April 5 elections and with the departure of NATO and American forces.
Mujahed also said in this interview that the Taliban would restore its extremist methods of justice and laws should it return to power. And Karzai is in talks with the Afghan Taliban. Karzai did invite the U.S. to also participate in these talks, but has yet to show up to the table. The last talks between the U.S. and the Taliban failed.
In a report written by a Digital Journal reporter for another publication back in February, it reported the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing Feb. 11 and heard testimony on the threat al-Qaida poses in the region if there is a total pull out in 2014.
The conclusions of the hearing were that al-Qaida is still a threat that needs to be recognized, which is in direct contradiction to the stance that White House has taken, with a consistent mantra that al-Qaida is "on the run" and its core leadership is all but decimated.
However, in his recently unclassified report on "Worldwide Threats Against the United States (January 2012)," James Clapper, director of National Defense, said the threat of al-Qaida is very real, and also addressed the growing concern that the Taliban is strong enough to effect US strategies and goals in the region.
Staff Sgt. Dawayne Krepel  a squad leader with U.S. Army Europe s 2nd platoon  Able Company  2nd Bat...
Staff Sgt. Dawayne Krepel, a squad leader with U.S. Army Europe's 2nd platoon, Able Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, searches an Afghan man during a tactical checkpoint mission on the Pech River Road in Kunar Province, Afghanistan Jan. 11, 2008 (U.S. Army Photo)
US Army Photo
"We assess that the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan has lost ground in some areas," wrote Clapper, adding that the Taliban has lost its ability to influence and maintain a stronghold inside Afghanistan.
"However, its losses have come mainly in the areas where ISAF surge forces are concentrated; it remains resilient and capable of challenging US and international goals; and Taliban senior leaders continue to enjoy safe haven in Pakistan, which enables them to provide strategic direction to the insurgency and not fear for their safety."
With no bilateral security agreement, even after the elections, the U.S.-led coalition will have no choice but to withdraw every soldier by the end of 2014.
Fearing this, Pakistani military officials, with the help from Turkey to repair its aging fleet of Cobra Gunships, has launched a major offensive, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, on the Taliban's only remaining stronghold, the North Waziristan Agency, which lies on the border of Afghanistan.
The Taliban have been preparing to launch a major offensive into Afghanistan once the troops are gone, evident based on the large ammunition and IED factories captured in the North Waziristan Agency Since June.
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