Army willfully ignores Islamic motivations behind Afghan killings of US troops

Andrew G. Bostom Author, "The Legacy of Jihad"
Font Size:

The U.S. Army command recently announced that only 25% of the lethal “green on blue” Afghan military insider attacks against U.S. and N.A.T.O. troops were attributable to the Taliban.

Mere “personal grievances,” we are told, account for the other 75% of attacks committed by our Afghan allies.

How could it be that so many Muslims in the Afghan National Army (A.N.A.) have become murderously enraged over personal disagreements and accidental insults? What has caused this upsurge in murders that has killed at least 40 U.S. troops since January 2012?

The answer is buried deep in a May 12, 2011 unclassified report by a U.S. Army “Red Team.” This report, titled “A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility,” contains a litany of bureaucratic puffery that tries to explain away these acts of murder committed against the U.S. and N.A.T.O. troops by their A.N.A. “allies.”

During a recent press conference, General John R. Allen, Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, claimed that Ramadan fasting, combined with operational tempo during the summer heat, were causing the current spate of killings of his own troops by Muslim A.N.A. soldiers.

That doesn’t seem right. The U.S. Army has been in Afghanistan for 11 years, and the number of attacks has climbed enormously in the last year.

But a careful reading of the report reveals numerous paragraphs showing the real gulf between U.S. soldiers and Afghans.

The report is based upon extensive interviews with U.S. and N.A.T.O. troops. It shows they are disgusted with, and highly suspicious of, the Islamically sanctioned practices and behaviors of their Afghan military allies, the Afghan National Security Forces (A.N.S.F.) and A.N.A., as well as Afghan civilians:

US soldiers … reported pervasive illicit drug use, massive thievery, personal instability, dishonesty, no integrity, incompetence, unsafe weapons handling, corrupt officers, no real NCO [non-commissioned officer] corps, covert alliances/informal treaties with insurgents, high AWOL rates, bad morale, laziness, repulsive hygiene, and the torture of dogs (“given the standing of dogs in Islam.”). Perceptions of civilians were also negative stemming from their insurgent sympathies and cruelty towards women and children.

The report also noted,

… numerous accounts of Canadian troops in Kandahar complaining about the rampant sexual abuse of children they have witnessed ANSF personnel commit, including the cultural practice of bacha bazi [dancing boys], as well as the raping and sodomizing of little boys …

U.S. soldiers were thoroughly revolted by such “abuse and neglect” of Afghan children, while excoriating the “poor treatment and virtual slavery of women in Afghan society,” which they found “repugnant.”

The most important point was placed on page 50, where item No. 40 jumps out from 58 comparatively trivial recommendations about how to counter the Afghan attacks on U.S. soldiers:

Better educate US soldiers in the central tenets of Islam as interpreted and practiced in Afghanistan. Ensure that this instruction is not a sanitized, politically correct training package, but rather includes an objective and comprehensive assessment of the totalitarian nature of the extreme theology practiced among Afghans.

In a practical and alarming elaboration (on p. 38), the report laments that a majority of A.N.S.F. members believe self-immolating homicide bombers attain “Salvation,” while U.S. soldiers killed in action do not. Concordantly, most A.N.S.F. members accept that killed “infidel” U.S. soldiers are condemned to Hell. Moreover, the report further warns about “A.N.S.F. religious officers” who espouse that such homicide bombers are Islamic martyrs who gain “Paradise,” and/or promote the notion that these homicide bombers’ actions are justified. Such Afghan Muslim views, in turn, reiterate classical, authoritative Islamic doctrine on jihad and jihad martyrdom from Islam’s most important canonical sources, i.e., the Koran (see verses 9:111; 98:6), and the traditions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (“hadith,” such as Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Numbers 53 and 54).

A February 17, 2011 Washington Post story demonstrated how the U.S. military’s utter failure of imagination engendered the delusive — and dangerous — belief that U.S. largesse would solve a millennium of Afghan Muslim hatred of Jews and other infidels, and the related historic use of mosques to foment and physically supply murderous jihadism. In Kabul’s largest and most famous “blue” mosque, a distinguished cleric, Enayatullah Balegh, pledged support for “any plan that can defeat” foreign military forces in Afghanistan, excoriating what he called “the political power of these children of Jews.” Balegh, who is also a professor of Islamic law at Kabul University, stated in an interview, “I don’t think even a single Afghan is happy with the presence of the foreign military forces here.”

As a Pentagon expert on Islamic law, former Major Stephen Coughlin, observed in 2007:

If the Enemy in the War on Terror (WOT) states that he fights jihad in furtherance of Islamic causes that includes the imposition of Sharia law and the re-establishment of the Caliphate; And Islamic law on jihad exists and is available in English; Then Professionals with WOT responsibilities have an affirmative, personal, professional duty to know the enemy that includes ALL the knowable facts associated with the law of jihad.

Coughlin, a well-trained lawyer, further argued that such understanding by our military leaders is obligatory if they are to uphold their essential commission.

The Red Team report’s acknowledgement, no matter how buried, of Islam’s role in shaping the attitudes and actions of our allies and enemies can help us understand why Afghans are increasingly murdering their U.S. trainers and allies — and free us from the perilous politically correct puffery pitched by General Allen and his pusillanimous peers.

Andrew G. Bostom, MD, is the author of “The Legacy of Jihad” (2005) and the forthcoming “Sharia Versus Freedom.”