A recent New York Times article offers a few insights into the futility of the war in Afghanistan. It recounts the story of “Mahmood”, who, “on the morning of May 11, when he opened fire on American trainers who had gone to the outpost in the mountains of Kunar Province. One American was killed and two others were wounded.” Mahmood was not Taliban, but an Afghan army soldier.
Such insider attacks, by Afghan security forces on their Western allies, became “the signature violence of 2012,” in the words of one former American official. The surge in attacks has provided the clearest sign yet that Afghan resentment of foreigners is becoming unmanageable, and American officials have expressed worries about its disruptive effects on the training mission that is the core of the American withdrawal plan for 2014.
The Times seems to consider this growing resentment against occupying forces as a bit of a mystery. It attributes some of the attacks to “Cultural clashes”, or because Americans “are seen as backing” “abusive or corrupt” Afghan commanding officers (emphasis added; merely a perception, mind you), or otherwise with “no logical explanation” whatsoever. What a puzzle. The Times adds that, whatever the motivation for such attacks,
many senior coalition and Afghan officials are now concluding that after nearly 12 years of war, the view of foreigners held by many Afghans has come to mirror that of the Taliban. Hope has turned into hatred, and some will find a reason to act on those feelings.
A bit further on, the articles notes:
The result is that, although the Taliban have successfully infiltrated the security forces before, they do not always have to.
It seems like Afghans perhaps might not like having their land occupied and loved ones murdered by foreign military forces, after all.