Hitherto, “green-on-blue” violence – in which western troops are killed by their Aghan “allies – has been confined to regular soldiers and policemen. But today saw a first:
An elite Afghan soldier shot dead an American mentor and his translator at a U.S. base, Afghan officials said on Friday, in the first rogue shooting blamed on the country’s new and closely vetted special forces.
But not to worry, the brass are fairly relaxed about it:
NATO commanders argue the growing number of shootings is in proportion to the growing size of Afghan security forces towards an eventual 352,000 target.
So the more Afghan soldiers Nato soldiers train, the more Nato soldiers Afghan soldiers kill. But as long as it’s proportional it’s no big deal:
“Quite often people resolve their personal problems by resorting to the use of a weapon. It’s more of a cultural thing here.”
So that’s okay then.
This seems as good a time as any to dust off Burke’s line that “men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” Which is not un-germane to Andy, Mario and Mark K’s back-and-forth on whether, in the Arab world, the Muslim Brotherhood is the path to democracy. “Democracy” – as in a polling station and ballot box – is the last piece of liberty’s puzzle. What comes first are property rights, legal systems, freedom of speech and of conscience, a civil society rather than a tribal one. Absent those, the “cultural thing” will out.