US to boost spy presence in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - Reuters
A US soldier secures a position on a road in Khost province, Afghanistan. AFP photoThe U.S. is planning to expand counterintelligence staff in Afghanistan after a rise in insider attacks by Afghans thought to be friendly to U.S. forces but who have killed 37 coalition troops so far this year, the Pentagon has announced Aug. 14.
Last week, six U.S. troops were killed in two separate incidents, one which saw an Afghan police commander and several of his men kill three U.S. Marines after inviting them to a Ramadan breakfast to discuss security. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he was deeply concerned by the killings “because of the lives lost and because of the potential damage to our partnership efforts.”
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the same news conference that the U.S. military was bolstering counterintelligence expertise at the battalion level and above in Afghanistan. He said the same was occurring within Afghan forces, which he said had so far discharged hundreds of soldiers who showed a risk of radicalization, including travel back and forth to Pakistan.