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Dec 1st, 2010

Remains of 6 Killed by Afghan Cop Come Home

Soldiers killed when rogue officer turned weapon on American trainers

Image: Buddy W. McLain
An Army carry team with the transfer case containing the remains of Pvt. Buddy W. McLain at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. (Photo credit: Steve Ruark / AP)

By Anne Gearan

December 1, 2010

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — Several of President Barack Obama’s top national security advisers stood on a silent, windy tarmac Wednesday night to watch as the bodies of six U.S. soldiers killed by a rogue Afghan policeman returned to U.S. soil.

The six were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when the border policeman turned his gun on his American trainers as the group headed to shooting practice. The gunman was killed in the shootout in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent to have an opportunity to kill foreigners. …

The dead are Sgt. Barry E. Jarvis of Tell City, Ind.; Pfc. Jacob A. Gassen of Beaver Dam, Wis.; Pvt. Buddy W. McLain of Mexico, Maine; Spc. Matthew W. Ramsey of Quartz Hill, Calif.; Pvt. Austin G. Staggs of Senoia, Ga.; and Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Oakes of Athens, Ohio.

[Note: All of the men served with the 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.]

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who is the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led a delegation of U.S. officials to pay respects. The unusually large group that flew from Washington included national security adviser Tom Donilon and several senior National Security Council advisers. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy and Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey and several senior Pentagon officers also attended. …

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ended an 18-year ban on media coverage of the returns last year.

The families of Jarvis, Gassen and McLain allowed media to watch and photograph the transfer of caskets Wednesday.

The attack was the deadliest of its kind in at least two years. It underscored one of the risks in a U.S.-led program to train enough recruits to turn over the lead for security to Afghan forces by 2014.

Attacks on NATO troops by Afghan policemen or soldiers, although still rare, have increased as the coalition has accelerated the program. Other problems with the rapidly growing security forces include drug use, widespread illiteracy and high rates of attrition.

This is the deadliest year of the nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, with more than 450 U.S. troops killed. More than 1,300 U.S. forces have died there since the war began in 2001, a majority of them in the past two years as fighting has intensified and Obama ordered more than 30,000 reinforcements.

The U.S. now has about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, a record. Obama plans to begin withdrawing some forces in July, on the way to an eventual transfer of security control to the Afghan forces now being recruited and trained under U.S. and NATO supervision.

Full story


09/03/2012 update

U.S. Suspends Training for Some Afghan Recruits After ‘Insider’ Attacks


U.S. halts training of Afghan police (NBC Nightly News, Sept. 2, 2012) — In the wake of attacks on NATO soldiers, the U.S. has stopped training local Afghan police for a month. Retired Col. Jack Jacobs reports that the mission to train local police may take longer than the political will. NBC’s Lester Holt has more. (01:24)

September 2, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — United States military officials have suspended the training of Afghan Local Police (ALP) in the wake of a deadly series of so-called ‘green on blue’ attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies.

In a statement late Saturday, Col. Thomas Collins, US Forces Afghanistan spokesperson, said the training has been put on hold in order to carry out intensified vetting procedures on new recruits, and 16,000 existing ALP recruits will be re-vetted. …

Many of the ‘insider’ incidents might have been prevented if existing security measures had been applied correctly, according to the Washington Post which first reported the training suspension. …

Forty-five allied troops have been killed in 34 ‘insider’ attacks this year alone. The Afghan army is implicated in 19 of those attacks, but their training will not be halted.

Last week an Afghan soldier shot and killed two American soldiers on Monday during a dispute in Laghman province in Afghanistan. …

ALP training is a U.S. mission, carried out by Special Forces. Training of uniformed police and army personnel is done under the banner of the NATO operation.

Full story


Related reports on this site


U.S. troops killed by uniform-clad Afghan gunman (NBC “Today,” Nov. 29, 2010) — A gunman dressed as an Afghan border policeman opened fire at a military outpost, killing six Americans in the gruesome attack. Jim Miklaszewski reports. (00:59)

Two U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Over Koran Burning (Feb. 24, 2012)

American Killed by Rogue Afghan Worker Inside Kabul CIA Office (Sept. 26, 2011)

Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011)

Rogue Afghan Shoots U.S. Trainers (April 27, 2011)

USA Surpasses USSR in Afghanistan (Nov. 29, 2010)

Reported Fragging in Iraq (Sept. 27, 2010)

Iraqi Soldier Guns Down U.S. Troops (Sept. 8, 2010)

Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Troop (Dec. 29, 2009)

Heartbreak at Ft. Hood (Nov. 5, 2009)

GI Opens Fire on U.S. Troops in Iraq (May 12, 2009)

Iraq Insurgent Infiltration (May 2, 2009)

Iraqi Soldier Kills U.S. Troops (Nov. 13, 2008)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 1, 2009

Obama Speech on Afghanistan

One year ago today, I featured President Barack Obama’s address to the nation to outline his strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. I also provided my weekly summary of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — December 1, 2008

Image: Baghdad bomb attacks site.
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police secure the site of bomb attacks at a police academy in eastern Baghdad, Dec. 1, 2008. (Photo credit: Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters)

Bombs Rip Through Iraq Cities

Two years ago today, on Dec. 1, 2008, I reported that a series of bombs had struck U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens, including four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi general; that Ivan Watson — an American reporter for National Public Radio — and three Iraqi colleagues escaped injury when a bomb attached to their parked car exploded in west Baghdad; and that South Korea had started withdrawing its troops from Iraq ahead of the Dec. 31, 2008 expiration of the U.N. mandate that authorized military operations in Iraq.

10 Responses to “Afghan Policeman Kills US Troops”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties Says:

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  9. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Two American Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Over Koran Burning Says:

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