Why has there been a rapid increase in so-called green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan since 2011?
Put otherwise, why are members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) increasingly targeting coalition forces? I argue that, while personally held individual-level motivations for attacks play a role, the underlying and systematic root cause of the relative increase in these attacks is a lack of counterinsurgent control over the territory and population of Afghanistan.
First, the problem currently confronting coalition forces in Afghanistan is a growing absolute and relative number of socalled green-on-blue attacks in recent years. Second, the growth of the indigenous security apparatus and lack of counterinsurgent control of the population and territory of Afghanistan are the most relevant variables in determining the increase in the relative rate of insider attacks. Third, a framework that systematizes the relationship between Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) growth, counterinsurgent control over the population and territory of Afghanistan, and the occurrence of green-on-blue or insider attacks is offered. Finally, by using the proposed framework, it is possible to diagnose the source of the current problem and provide a prognosis for what will likely occur as Western forces begin to withdraw from the Afghan theater in 2014. In particular, I maintain that the source of this problem is one of sequencing. The United States and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) expanded the indigenous security capacity before the span of counterinsurgent