NATO: No Connection Among Afghan Soldier Attacks

NATO Sees No Link in Killings of French, U.S. Soldiers


Recent deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO troops are not connected and do not appear to be part of a broader campaign to undermine the U.S.-led mission there, an alliance spokesman says.

"Incidents in the recent past where Afghan soldiers have wounded or killed [NATO] members are isolated cases and each one has its own underlying circumstances and motives as to the reason why," Army Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings said in an email. "There is no indication that these incidents are linked or part of any larger coordinated effort." [See photos of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.]

Recent incidents in Afghanistan have seen Afghan soldiers shoot and kill American and French troops. French troops have been targeted several times in recent weeks, leading French President Nicholas Sarkozy to suspend all French military activities in Afghanistan last Friday.

Sarkozy halted all training activities by French soldiers after four were shot dead in the same day by an Afghan soldier in northwest Afghanistan. It was the second time this month that French soldiers were attacked by an Afghan soldier. Sarkozy's move means French forces no longer will conduct joint patrols with indigenous forces or conduct training. The French president even threatened to remove the 4,000 French troops in Afghanistan unless certain conditions are met, potentially hindering Barack Obama's Afghan war strategy.

The NATO spokesman stressed the alliance's relationship with the indigenous forces they continue to train and conduct joint missions are sound. [See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.]

"We train and are partnered with [thousands] of Afghan personnel every day (300,000-plus Afghan Security Forces with 130,000 [NATO] forces)," Cummings said. "We are not seeing any major issues or concerns with the status of our relationships."

The state of relationships within NATO is another matter, however. Analysts are warning an early French withdrawal could lead other alliance members to remove their forces before Obama's 2014 date for removing all U.S. troops.

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