Alexander Liatsis and Justine Reisler Justine Reisler

Infograph: Afghanistan’s Green-on-Blue Attacks

On August 5, United States Army Major General Harold Greene was killed in an attack by an Afghan soldier. Greene became the highest ranking solider killed by hostile action during the Afghan war when the soldier opened fire killing the general and wounding some fifteen NATO troops, among them a German Brigadier General and several Americans. The attack at Camp Qargha, a base just west of Kabul, offers an ominous sign of the future of Afghanistan once American troops pull out at the end of 2014. Indeed, Afghan soldiers and police officers have also been targeted by their comrades calling into question the future capabilities of Afghanistan’s security apparatus.

The targeting of Coalition troops by Afghan soldiers has been an ongoing torment for NATO’s International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). The so-called, “green-on-blue” attacks had been rare, averaging no more than one per year prior to 2007, but spiked in the years following the surge of 33,000 US troops in 2009. By 2012, the attacks hit an all time high at forty-four but dropped off significantly in 2013 with thirteen ISAF troops killed. Since the start of 2014, three ISAF soldiers have been killed by Afghan soldiers.

The following infograph offers a breakdown of the  number of attacks over the years and their geographic location.