With an Eye Open and a Round Chambered: Explaining the Afghan ‘Insider Threat’ and its Implications for Sustained Partnership
Armstrong, N. J. (2013). With an Eye Open and a Round Chambered: Explaining the Afghan Insider Threat and its Implications for Sustained Partnership. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 7(3): 223-240. doi: 10.1080/17502977.2013.783991
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 Last revised: 21 May 2014
Date Written: February 1, 2013
This essay presents preliminary ethnographic data and an analytical framework concerning the recent spike in Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) ‘insider’ or ‘green-on-blue’ attacks on NATO forces. This data was collected as part of an in-depth, multi-level case study of NATO partnering efforts with the Afghan Defense and Interior ministries, the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police and Afghan Local Police. Preliminary findings support the argument that, in addition to ANSF infiltration and coercion by the Taliban and Haqqani network, cross-cultural friction and contextual stress on Afghan troops are strong contributing factors in the rise of insider attacks. Differentiating the multiple causes of insider attacks is vital to reduce future incidents in the short-term and to assess the long-term ANSF partnership model beyond NATO’s scheduled withdrawal in 2014.
Keywords: Afghanistan, insider attacks, cultural friction, contextual stress, emotional intelligence
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