US general holds talks on Afghanistan 'insider attacks'

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey (C) poses at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul on August 20, 2012 Gen Dempsey (C) said he would be discussing the "insider threat" from Afghan forces

The top US military officer is visiting Afghanistan to discuss a growing number of attacks against Nato soldiers by members of the Afghan security forces.

Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, met Nato commanders and officials for talks on insider attacks, termed "green on blue" in line with colour-coding systems used by the US military.

His visit follows an incident on Sunday in which an Afghan in a police uniform shot dead a Nato soldier.

The victim was the 10th US soldier to die in such an attack in two weeks.

Two American soldiers were killed in another incident on Friday, a week after six were killed in a single day on 10 August.

'Vetting process'

Currently, approximately 130,000 (blue) Nato troops are fighting insurgents in Afghanistan alongside 350,000 (green) Afghans.

Sunday's shooting brought the total number of International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) personnel killed by members of the Afghan security forces this year to 40, with most of the victims Americans.

There were 35 such deaths in all of 2011.

Gen Dempsey told reporters that "the insider threat" would be discussed in his meetings with top Afghan officials and Nato and US army commanders.

He admitted that despite efforts to screen new recruits carefully, the number of attacks continued to rise.

"We have an eight-step vetting process that's been in place in earnest for about a year, but we haven't turned the corner on the trend," he said.

On Saturday, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to improve cooperation with international forces to contain the threat from insider attacks.

The Taliban has been actively recruiting members of the Afghan security forces, publicly announcing that insider attacks were a central part of their strategy against Isaf forces.

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.