Green on Blue: The allies who attack U.S. troops while their guard is down

A Jordanian police officer shot five people, including two U.S. security trainers, at the King Abdullah Training Center in Amman, Jordan on November 9th. Though not the dictionary definition of a “Green-on-Blue” attack, it does show a rise in these types of insider attacks against U.S. personnel. A Green on Blue attack is how NATO describes attacks on NATO and Coalition forces in Afghanistan by Afghan security forces. It’s important to remember that U.S. and Jordan have a long history of cooperation that predates 1991’s Operation Desert Storm.

Marines Royal Air Force Eager Lion Amman Jordan

U.S. Marines and British airmen with 51st Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, search a building for threats as part of Exercise Eager Lion at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center in Amman, Jordan, May 15, 2015. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sean Searfus)

Green on Blue attacks, by their nature, are difficult to predict. They are damaging to morale, unit cohesion, and international relations. They sap public support for training missions from the people of the United States and cause a loss of credibility for U.S. allies. As the U.S. begins to increase its presence in Iraq to combat ISIS, the shift in Green on Blue tactics is troubling, considering the already-strained U.S. training missions in Iraq.

Afghan Police Training

A special operations team member with Special Operations Task Force West greets new Afghan Local Police recruits on their first day of training in Farah province (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Chadwick de Bree)

There are 91 incidents of Green on Blue attack in the Afghan War so far, with 148 Coalition troops killed and 186 wounded. 15% of all Coalition casualties in Afghanistan were Green on Blue attacks in 2012. Security measures were put in place to ensure NATO forces have overwatch when these attacks are likely to occur. The Long War Journal blog keeps a tally on Green on Blue attacks.

2015

April 8, 2015

An Afghan soldier kills a U.S. troop and wounds two more at the governor’s compound in Jalalabad. U.S. troops kill the gunman.

January 29, 2015

One Afghan soldier, a Taliban infiltrator working security, kills three U.S. security contractors and wounds one more at Kabul International Airport.

2014

Sept. 15, 2014:
An Afghan soldier shoots at ISAF trainers in Farah province, killing a trainer and wounding another and an interpreter before being killed.

Aug. 5, 2014:
An Afghan fires on US officers at a key leader engagement at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul City. U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene is killed and 16 ISAF personnel are wounded. The attacker was killed by Afghan soldiers.

The chief of staff of the U.S. Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the U.S. secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, and the U.S. assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, Heidi Shyu, participate in singing the congregational hymn, "Onward Christian Soldier" during a military funeral in honor of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Memorial Chapel in Arlington, Va., Aug. 14, 2014. Greene is the highest-ranking service member killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chuck Hagel, and the U.S. assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, Heidi Shyu, participate in singing the congregational hymn during a military funeral in honor of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene. Greene is the highest-ranking service member killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)

June 23, 2014:
Two U.S. military advisers are wounded when an Afghan policeman shoots at them as they arrive at the Paktia provincial police headquarters in Gardez. The attacker is killed in return fire. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack.

Feb. 12, 2014:
Two US soldiers are shot and killed with four wounded by two men wearing Afghan National Security Force uniforms in eastern Afghanistan. Several civilians are also wounded by crossfire. The two are killed by Coalition troops.

2013

Oct. 26, 2013:
A member of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) wounds two NATO troops in a firefight at a base on the outskirts of Kabul; the Afghan soldier is shot and killed during the clash. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack and appears to be a result of a dispute between Australian and Afghan troops.

Oct. 13, 2013:
A member of the Afghan National Security Forces kills a US soldier in Paktika province and wounds another. The Afghan escapes.

Oct. 5, 2013:
A local security guard kills a senior ISAF member in southern Afghanistan; the gunman is killed following the incident.

Sept. 26, 2013:
An Afghan soldier shoots at ISAF troops in Paktia, killing an American soldier and injuring several others. The attacker is then shot and killed. The Taliban claimed the attack.

Sept. 21, 2013:
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier shoots up ISAF special forces in Paktia province, killing three and injuring one. The attacker is shot and killed.

July 9, 2013:
A “rogue” ANA soldier fires at Slovakian troops at Kandahar Airfield, killing one and injuring at least two more. The attacker was captured by Afghan forces. He later escapes from a detention facility and joins the Taliban.

June 8, 2013:
ANA soldiers kill two US soldiers and a civilian adviser in Paktika and wound three other Americans. One of the attackers is killed and another captured.

May 4, 2013:
An ANA soldier kills two ISAF troops in an attack in Western Afghanistan.

April 7, 2013:
An ANA soldier fires on Lithuanian soldiers in an armored vehicle at a post in the village of Kasi, wounding two Lithuanian soldiers. The attacker is captured and handed to the Afghans.

April 7, 2013:
Afghan Local Police fire on a US outpost after US troops attempted to arrest a Taliban commander visiting the ALP. No one is hurt.

March 11, 2013:
An Afghan Local Policeman fires on US Special Forces at a military base in Wardak province, killing two and wounding eight. The attacker and two Afghan policemen are killed.

March 8, 2013:
Three ANSF soldiers in an ANSF vehicle drive onto a US military base in Kapisa province, and fire on US troops and civilians, killing one civilian contractor and wounding four US troops. The three attackers are killed.

Jan. 6, 2013:
An ANA soldier fires on British and Afghan troops at Patrol Base Hazrat. He kills one British soldier and wounds six more. He is shot by Afghan security forces while fleeing. The Taliban take credit.

2012

Dec. 31, 2012:
Two ANA soldiers fire on Spanish troops as they patrol in Herat province; no one was killed or injured in the incident.

Dec. 24, 2012:
An Afghan policewoman kills a US civilian adviser inside the Interior Ministry building. The shooter is captured.

Nov. 11, 2012:
An Afghan soldier fires at British troops in Helmand province. One British soldier is killed and one wounded. The Afghan shooter is wounded.

Nov. 10, 2012:
Two Afghan soldiers fire at Spanish troops from the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Badghis province. The two Afghan soldiers are captured; one wounded. One Spanish soldier is wounded.

Oct. 30, 2012:
An Afghan policeman shoots and kills two British soldiers in Helmand province. The policeman escapes.

Oct. 25, 2012:
A “trusted” Afghan policeman kills two US soldiers at a police headquarters in Uruzgan province. The attacker escapes to join the Taliban.

Oct. 13, 2012:
An employee of the National Security Directorate kills a US soldier and a US State Department employee in a suicide attack in Kandahar province. Also killed in the attack were the deputy NDS chief for Kandahar and three other Afghans.

Sept. 29, 2012:
An Afghan soldier shoots at Coalition forces in Wardak province. One US soldier and a civilian contractor are killed and two US soldiers were wounded. Three other Afghan soldiers are also killed with several others wounded.

Sept. 16, 2012:
An Afghan soldier fires on a vehicle inside Camp Garmser in Helmand province; six NATO troops and a foreign civilian worker are wounded in the attack.

Sept. 16, 2012:
Afghan policemen open fire on a group of Coalition soldiers in Zabul province, killing four and wounding two. The attacker is killed in an exchange with several other Afghan policemen wounded.

Sept. 15, 2012:
A member of the Afghan Local Police fires on a group of British soldiers in Helmand province, killing two and wounding two. The attacker was killed in a firefight.

Aug. 28, 2012:
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills three Australian soldiers in Uruzgan province. Two more Australian soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Aug. 27, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills two ISAF soldiers in Laghman province. The attacker was killed by ISAF soldiers.

Aug. 19, 2012:
A member of the Afghan Uniformed Police turns his weapon on a group of ISAF soldiers in southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding another.

Aug. 17, 2012:
An Afghan Local Police officer kills a Marine and a Navy Corpsman and wounds an ISAF soldier during a training exercise on an Afghan base in Farah province. He was killed in the ensuing firefight.

Aug. 17, 2012:
An Afghan soldier shoots and wounds two NATO soldiers in Kandahar province; the attacker is killed.

Aug. 13, 2012:
A policeman wounds two US soldiers in Nangarhar province. The attacker flees.

Aug. 10, 2012:
Three US Marines are killed and one wounded in an attack in Helmand province. The attacker was captured.

Aug. 10, 2012:
Three US soldiers are killed and one wounded in an attack by an Afghan Local Police commander and his men in Helmand province. The Afghan police commander flees.

Aug. 9, 2012:
US troops kill an Afghan soldier who was attempting to gun them down at a training center in Methar Lam district in Laghman province; two US soldiers are wounded.

Aug. 7, 2012:
Two Afghan soldiers kill a US soldier and wound three others in Paktia province before defecting to the Taliban.

Aug. 3, 2012:
An Afghan Local Policeman wounds one ISAF soldier at a base in Panjwai district in Kandahar province.

July 23, 2012:
Two ISAF soldiers are wounded in an attack in Faryab province. The attacker is killed by ISAF troops.

July 22, 2012:
A member of the Afghan National Police (ANP) kills three civilian trainers who worked for ISAF in Herat province, wounding another. The attacker is killed.

July 5, 2012:
Five ISAF are wounded by an Afghan soldier in Wardak province.

July 1, 2012:
Three British military advisers are killed and another ISAF member is wounded in an attack by an Afghan Civil Order policeman in Helmand province.

June 18, 2012:
An ISAF soldier is killed by “three individuals in Afghan Police uniforms” in the south.

May 12, 2012:
Members of the Afghan Uniformed Police kill two British soldiers and wound two more in Helmand province.

May 11, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills a US soldier and wounds two others in Kunar province. The attacker flees to the Taliban.

May 6, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills one US Marine and wounds another in the Marjah district of Helmand province. The gunman is killed by return fire.

April 26, 2012:
An Afghan commando kills a US Special Forces soldier and an Afghan interpreter in Kandahar province. The Commando is killed by returned fire.

April 25, 2012:
An Afghan Uniformed Policeman wounds two ISAF soldiers in Kandahar province.

April 16, 2012:
An Afghan soldier attacks ISAF soldiers in Kandahar province; no casualties or injuries.

March 26, 2012:
An ISAF service member dies after a shooting in eastern Afghanistan.  He was shot by an alleged member of the Afghan Local Police. The attacker was killed by return fire.

March 26, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills two British troops and wounds another ISAF service member in Helmand province. The attacker is killed by return fire.

March 14, 2012:
An Afghan interpreter hijacks an SUV, wounds a British soldier, then attempts to run down a group of US Marines. The attacker crashes his truck and sets himself on fire.

March 2, 2012:
An Afghan soldier attacks ISAF soldiers at Camp Morehead in Kabul; no casualties.

March 1, 2012:
An Afghan soldier and a teacher open fire on NATO troops in Kandahar province, killing two and wounding two more, before being killed in returned fire.

Feb. 25, 2012:
An Afghan policeman guns down two US military officers in the Interior Ministry in Kabul before escaping.

Feb. 23, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills two US troops in Nangarhar province.

Feb. 20, 2012:
A member of the Afghan Uniformed Police kills an ISAF soldier in southern Afghanistan and wounds two.

Jan. 31, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills an ISAF soldier in Helmand province; the Afghan commander says it was an accident, but the shooter was detained.

Jan. 20, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills four ISAF soldiers in eastern Afghanistan. According to AFP, the attacker shot and killed four unarmed French soldiers and wounded another 15 at their base in Kapisa.

Jan. 8, 2012:
An Afghan soldier kills an ISAF soldier and wounds three others in southern Afghanistan. The attacker is shot and killed by another US soldier.

2011

Dec. 29, 2011:
An Afghan soldier kills two ISAF soldiers in eastern Afghanistan. The dead are two non-commissioned officers of the French Foreign Legion. The Taliban claimed the attack.

Nov. 9, 2011:
Three Australian soldiers are wounded when an Afghan soldier shoots them at an Australian base in Uruzgan province.

Oct. 29, 2011:
An Afghan army trainee fires at a forward operating base in Kandahar province being used to train ANA troops. He kills three Australian soldiers and one interpreter, wounding at least nine others.

Aug. 4, 2011:
An Afghan soldier kills an ISAF soldier while dressed as a policeman in eastern Afghanistan.

July 16, 2011:
An Afghan soldier kills an ISAF soldier in southern Afghanistan after a joint patrol. The attacker runs away.

May 30, 2011:
An Afghan soldier kills an ISAF soldier in southern Afghanistan. The two were in guard towers. The Afghan flees the scene.

May 13, 2011:

Two NATO soldiers mentoring an Afghan National Civil Order brigade are shot and killed inside a police compound in Helmand province.

April 27, 2011:
A veteran Afghan air force pilot opens fire inside a NATO military base in Kabul, killing eight and a contractor.

April 16, 2011:
A newly recruited Afghan soldier who was a Taliban suicide bomber detonated at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman, killing five NATO and four Afghan soldiers. Eight other Afghans were wounded, including four interpreters.

April 4, 2011:
An Afghan soldier opens fire on ISAF vehicles in Kandahar province

April 4, 2011:
An Afghan Border Police officer in Maimana, the capital of Faryab province, shoots and kills two US soldiers, then flees. ISAF reports on April 7 the attacker was killed when he displayed hostile intent after being tracked down in Maimana.

March 19, 2011:
An Afghan hired to provide security at Forward Operating Base Frontenac in Kandahar province shot six US soldiers as they were cleaning their weapons, killing two and wounding four more. The attacker was killed by three other US soldiers.

Feb. 18, 2011:
An Afghan soldier fires on German soldiers at a base in Baghlan province, killing three and wounding six others. The attacker was killed.

Jan. 18, 2011:
An Afghan soldier shoots two Italian soldiers at a combat outpost in Badghis province, killing one and wounding the other before escaping.

Jan. 15, 2011:
An Afghan soldier argues with a Marine in Helmand, threatens him, and later returns and aims his weapon at the Marine. When the Afghan soldier fails to put his rifle down, the Marine shoots him.

2010

Nov. 29, 2010:
An individual in an Afghan Border Police uniform kills six ISAF soldiers during a training mission in eastern Afghanistan; the attacker is killed in the incident.

Nov. 6, 2010:
Two US Marines are killed by an Afghan soldier at a military base in Helmand province. The shooter flees to the Taliban.

Aug. 26, 2010:
Two Spanish police officers and their interpreter are shot dead by their Afghan driver on a Spanish base in Badghis province. The shootings set off a riot outside the base; shots were fired at the base and fires were set. Officials say 25 people were wounded. The attacker was shot dead by other Spanish officers.

July 20, 2010:
An Afghan soldier kills two US civilian trainers at a training base in northern Afghanistan. One NATO soldier is wounded. The attacker dies.

July 13, 2010:
An Afghan soldier kills three British troops in Helmand province. The attacker flees to the Taliban.

2009

Dec. 29, 2009:
An Afghan soldier fires on NATO troops preventing them from approaching a helicopter. He kills a US soldier and injures two Italian soldiers before being injured by NATO troops’ return fire.

Nov. 3, 2009:
An Afghan policeman shoots and kills three UK Grenadier Guards and two members of the UK Royal Military Police; six other British troops are severely wounded alongside two Afghans. The incident occurred while the soldiers were resting after a joint patrol.

Oct. 28, 2009:
An Afghan policeman fires on American soldiers during a joint patrol in Wardak province, killing two and injuring two more before fleeing.

Oct. 2, 2009:
An Afghan policeman kills two American soldiers in Wardak province.

March 27, 2009:
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills two US Navy officers in Balkh province. According to theMilitary Times, the attacker also wounded another US Navy officer. The attacker then fatally shot himself.

2008

Oct. 18, 2008:
An Afghan policeman standing on a tower hurls a grenade and fires on a US military foot patrol as it returned to a base in Paktika province, killing one US soldier. The U.S. returns fire, killing the policeman.

Sept. 29, 2008:
An Afghan policeman fires at a police station in Paktia province, killing one US soldier and wounding three others before being shot himself.

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