In this Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 file photo, Sue Funderburk holds a U.S. flag as she pays her respects for Marine Staff Sgt. Greg Copes of Lynch Station,Va. as the procession for his funeral heads to his burial site in Altavista, Va. So far, 1,980 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. A recent surge of insider attacks by Afghan security forces has claimed the lives of 51 allied soldiers, according to a report by the Brookings Institution. (AP)
A group of US senators on Wednesday said they feared US efforts to draw down military forces in Afghanistan had contributed to “insider attacks” by Afghans on NATO troops and called for a suspension of troop withdrawals.
“In light of the tragic recent attacks on US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, we understand and respect the rationale for scaling back combined operations between coalition and Afghan troops,” wrote John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in a joint statement.
“However, we also believe this decision raises questions about the broader strategy that the Obama administration has been pursuing in this conflict, especially with respect to its timetable for drawing down our military forces in Afghanistan.”
They said conditions in Afghanistan warranted “an immediate suspension” of US troop withdrawals to allow commanders to evaluate how to proceed. A rush to handover security to Afghan forces had contributed to so-called “green on blue” attacks on NATO troops, they alleged.
So far this year, there have been 37 insider attacks in Afghanistan, killing 51 international service members. In August there were at least 12 insider attacks leaving 15 dead.