NATO Afghan exit strategy in doubt after joint operations ban amid increased insider attacks
Kabul, Sept. 19 (ANI): NATO's exit strategy in Afghanistan appears to be at serious risk after it emerged that the US military command has banned joint operations with Afghan troops in the wake of a rapid increase in 'green-on-blue attacks'.
The order, issued by the deputy commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Lieutenant General James Terry, indefinitely suspended joint patrols and other operations for units smaller than 800-strong battalions.
According to the Guardian, experts said that the decision would undermine NATO's training role and further unravel the already precarious trust between Afghans and their western allies.
NATO's plan to withdraw combat troops by 2014 depends on Afghan security forces being able to fight with the Taliban without assistance, an increasingly daunting goal, the report said.
"The cessation of the partnership is likely to seriously damage the mission," Paul Quinn-Judge, the acting Asia director of the International Crisis Group aid.
"Things are already looking bad for 2014, with both the [troop] drawdown and possibly some very messy elections. The partnership was in many ways the core of the mission - 2014 could turn out to be even tougher without it," he added. (ANI)
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