Top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan: We’re Willing to Fight – But ‘Not Willing to Be Murdered'
(CNSNews.com) - Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, says he's "mad as hell" about the increasing number of insider attacks, in which Afghan soldiers and police murder the Americans who are trying to train them.
"You know, we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we're not willing to be murdered for it," Gen. Allen told CBS' "60 Minutes" in a segment that aired on Sunday.
Gen. Allen told CBS Correspondent Lara Logan that the insider attacks will continue: "The enemy recognizes this is a vulnerability. You know, in Iraq, the signature weapon system that we hadn't seen before was the IED. We had to adjust to that. Here, I think the signature attack that we're beginning to see the -- is going to be the insider attack."
Allen also said "the vast majority” of Afghans are "with us in this." He noted that a number of Afghans have been killed trying to save NATO forces from rogue Afghans.
A Taliban commander -- described as a specialist in suicide bombings who was trained by al Qaeda -- also spoke to "60 Minutes," telling Lara Logan that the Taliban is behind the insider attacks:
"These are Taliban attacks," the unnamed man said. "This is part of our new military strategy. We have our people in the Afghan police and the army. And the orders come from the top."
The Taliban representative told CBS that al Qaeda fights are flowing into Afghanistan, helping to make the Taliban more effective in killing NATO troops:
"We can't do this without them (al Qaeda)," he said. "They are masters of everything. For example, making IEDs, something we don't know how to do. But they are teaching us. They are also master engineers and good with all weapons. When our weapons break, they are the ones who repair them. We can't do this without them."
On Monday, the day after "60 Minutes" aired the interviews with Gen. Allen and the Taliban representative, a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a patrol of Afghan and international forces in eastern Afghanistan, detonating it -- and killing at least 14 people, including three NATO service members and their translator, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.