How has the Pentagon responded? By blaming our troops.
Top officials believe culturally offensive behavior is the motivation behind the killings, so it’s stepped up Islamic sensitivity training for our troops.
If you don’t want to be shot in the back by your Afghan training partners, the Pentagon advises, don’t offend their religious sensibilities. Don’t kick your feet up on a table, for instance, and never ask to see a picture of their wives and kids. “There’s a percentage [of attacks] which are cultural affronts,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said in a recent interview.
Dempsey echoes the concerns of Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s chief of staff, who earlier this month argued both sides need to do more to “teach” foreign troops Islamic traditions and values to reduce the chance of violent reactions to cultural slights.
“It is our duty to teach this to them. Our indifference about these issues causes the incident,” he said.
In the past three years, uniformed Afghans have murdered at least 97 US and NATO troops.
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