Attacks by Insiders Double in Afghanistan

Compared to last year, the attacks on NATO forces by members of the Afghanistan Army have doubled, leading the top US commander in the country, Marine Gen. John Allen, to find a way to identify those who may pose a threat to US and NATO forces.

In a meeting with top NATO and US officers in theater, General Allen plans to discuss actions such as revamping the screening process for Afghn soldiers and forming "Joint Casualty Assessment Teams" to discover possible motivations for the attacks, whether current recruiting policy was followed and if any warning signs may have been missed.

While attacks on US and NATO forces are up from 12 last year to 29 this year, it could be much worse - Afghan commanders recently dismissed "hundreds" of soldiers who appeared to be connected to the Taliban or who hold anti-American or anti-Western views. These attacks have killed 34 NATO troops this year, with 20 of those being American soldiers, accounting for almost 20 percent of the 224 US casualties this year.

While these attacks may be increasing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that these attacks will not effect the troop drawdown currently in progress, from 90,000 to 68,000 by the end of September, and will not change the planned cooperation between US and Afghan Army soldiers.

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