Today is our 3,978th day in Afghanistan.
We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 2,104
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,053
We find this morning's cost of war
passing through: $1, 367, 060, 575, 000. 00
While we've been rightly focused on the alarming attack on women's rights in this coutnry, there's been an equally alarming escalation on attacks on US forces in Afghanistan. You may have heard about it - it's so-called "Green on Blue" violence. Afghan soldiers that we are allegedly training to be self-sufficient have turned on their US trainers.
(CNN) -- An Afghan soldier killed two American troops Monday in the latest attack by Afghan security forces on coalition soldiers, authorities said.
The killings occurred the same day 10 Afghan soldiers were killed when members of their own unit opened fire on them at an army post in southern Helmand province, according to provincial officials.
The latest attacks come at a sensitive time for the United States and its NATO-led allies, who are preparing to withdraw the majority of their troops by 2014 under a plan that requires Afghan forces to take responsibility for the country's security.
NATO: Most attacks on coalition troops driven by personal grievances
A defense official not authorized to speak on the record confirmed the nationality of the two Americans. The official said circumstances are still under investigation, but it appears to be an insider attack.
Pentagon: Afghans killing U.S. troops Special Ops troops lured then killed
With Monday's killing of the two, at least 42 NATO troops have been killed in attacks by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised as soldiers or police, according to coalition officials.
U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, chief of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said last week that an estimated 25% of such attacks are carried out by Taliban infiltrators.
The coalition did not provide details of the attack in eastern Afghanistan, saying only that NATO "troops returned fire, killing the ... soldier who committed the attack."
Afghan authorities, meanwhile, are investigating the attack by five soldiers on their own unit in Helmand's Washir district, which killed 10 people and wounded four, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for Helmand's provincial governor.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the killings, and the governor's spokesman did not outline a possible motive for the attack.
The Pentagon has come up with all sorts of excuses, even going so far as to blame hunger and thirst brought on by the fast of Ramadan (just completed) for the uptick in violence. I've really got no comment on how ignorant that remark is.
But just think about one thing...throughout mankind's history, there have been many invasions and lengthy occupations. At some point, the partisans start to rise up and harry the occupying force...whether coordinated or not, there is always resistance to a perceived enemy on your land, no matter what their intentions may be. You saw the chart....3,978 days is an awfully long time.
Moving on, Raine posted this yesterday.
While it's one thing to point at the rhetoric from the right and shake our heads, this one is far more serious. There have been mutinies in our past, but these have all been isolated incidents against specific commanders, or specific conditions. In my admittedly brief search this morning, I could not find a single incident of such a thing happening that targeted the Commander-in-Chief.
But perhaps this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, as we've long suspected, the US military is becoming a haven for extremists and racists. Something the Pentagon is only just beginning to realize.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — They call it "rahowa" — short for racial holy war — and they are preparing for it by joining the ranks of the world's fiercest fighting machine, the U.S. military.
White supremacists, neo-Nazis and skinhead groups encourage followers to enlist in the Army and Marine Corps to acquire the skills to overthrow what some call the ZOG — the Zionist Occupation Government. Get in, get trained and get out to brace for the coming race war.
If this scenario seems like fantasy or bluster, civil rights organizations take it as deadly serious, especially given recent events. Former U.S. Army soldier Wade Page opened fire with a 9 mm handgun at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on August 5, murdering six people and critically wounding three before killing himself during a shootout with police.
The U.S. Defense Department as well has stepped up efforts to purge violent racists from its ranks, earning praise from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tracked and exposed hate groups since the 1970s.
Page, who was 40, was well known in the white supremacist music scene. In the early 2000s he told academic researcher Pete Simi that he became a neo-Nazi after joining the military in 1992. Fred Lucas, who served with him, said Page openly espoused his racist views until 1998, when he was demoted from sergeant to specialist, discharged and barred from re-enlistment.
While at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, Page told Simi, he made the acquaintance of James Burmeister, a skinhead paratrooper who in 1995 killed a black Fayetteville couple in a racially motivated shooting. Burmeister was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2007.
No one knows how many white supremacists have served since then. A 2008 report commissioned by the Justice Department found half of all right-wing extremists in the United States had military experience.
"We don't really think this is a huge problem, at Bragg, and across the Army," said Colonel Kevin Arata, a spokesman for Fort Bragg.
"In my 26 years in the Army, I've never seen it," the former company commander said.
Experts have identified the presence of street gang members as a more widespread problem. Even so, the Pentagon has launched three major pushes in recent decades to crack down on racist extremists. The first directive was issued in 1986, when Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger ordered military personnel to reject supremacist organizations.
That failed to stop former Marine T.J. Leyden, with two-inch SS bolts tattooed above his collar, from serving from 1988 to 1991 while openly supporting neo-Nazi causes. A member of the Hammerskin Nation, a skinhead group, he said he hung a swastika from his locker, taking it down only when his commander politely asked him to ahead of inspections by the commanding general.
"I went into the Marine Corps for one specific reason: I would learn how shoot," Leyden told Reuters. "I also learned how to use C-4 (explosives), blow things up. I took all my military skills and said I could use these to train other people," said Leyden, 46, who has since renounced the white power movement and is a consultant for the anti-Nazi Simon Wiesenthal Center.
I've written this column for a long time now....and I think this is quite possibly the most alarming thing I've seen in all my years of doing this. You can point to all the rhetoric the extreme right spouts about how America is on the wrong path and blah, blah, blah. If the military is overrun by extremists, especially those that are easily swayed by extremist points-of-view, then this is a true threat to the Republic. I eagerly await the GOP's response.