How tight can the Shoulders stay together?

Afghan intelligence officials arrested 16 people after an apparent mass suicide bombing attack was foiled in Kabul, Sky News reported Tuesday.
Some 11 suicide bombing vests were also seized from inside Afghanistan’s defense ministry, according to security officials, cited by news website Khaama Press.
A number of the suspects were members of the Afghan National Army, the security sources added.
It is believed the suspects planned to detonate the bombing vests on buses transporting more than 1,000 staff from one compound to the next, Sky News said.
The arrests follow the killings of three NATO troops Monday in two separate incidents involving gunmen allegedly affiliated with Afghan security forces, as unrest in the wake of a mass shooting by a US soldier earlier this month continued to be felt through southern and eastern Afghanistan.

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This story came out about a week ago and I have been meaning to talk about it. Without a doubt this is a good news story, because they stopped it. Of course it is not a great thing to think that even more of our “friends” and partners were about to do this. I mean these are the guys that our coalition forces (to include Americans) are training at the primary military training centers. These are the guys we are shoulder to shoulder with. When our troops hear of this (even thought it was stopped) it makes them even more wary of the guys on the left and right of them.

It is a serious psychological mind-screw when we are taught from the first day of basic training the the guy fighting next to you has his life in your hands and yours in his. This makes you question every move, motive or action by those that our soldiers must fight and train with side-by-side.

I know when I was there, embedded with Afghan Army units and then later on police units, I was also wary of them but at the same time had no option but trust them. Most of the time, we conducted combat operations with them while only having 2 Americans present. So there would be 2 of us and 15-20 of them. On more than one occasion I was the only American present.

There were many times where I was fully dependent on Afghans to keep me secure while I slept in a patrol base. They could have easily walked over an slit my throat as I slept. There were Americans being killed by Afghans in 2006-2007, but not near the rate they are now.

The anxiety our young warriors experience is beyond what most people can imagine. Of course in today’s time on the battlefield there are rarely ever situations where 1 or 2 Americans are by themselves with Afghans like we were back then, but still they serve Shohna Ba Shohna (Shoulder to Shoulder in Pashto) with them and have to be nervous anytime an Afghan soldier or police officer is around.

Imagine, it would almost be like being embedded with the enemy. Even thought for the most part a large number of Afghan security forces are probably very trustworthy, not knowing which ones are or aren’t can be nerve-racking.

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