Adrian J. Bradshaw,
ISAF: Precautions to Counter Insider Attack Risks Added
October 03, 2012
International Security Assistance
Force leadership continues to take steps to protect its forces as they
advise Afghan security forces, ISAF’s deputy commander said here today.
Speaking to Pentagon reporters through video teleconference from ISAF
headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Adrian J. Bradshaw of the
British army discussed countermeasures that have evolved to reduce the
threat of insider attacks, particularly after a YouTube video, “The
Innocence of Muslims,” sparked protest in the Muslim world.
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Weber, left, provides security during a key leader
engagement in Farah City in Afghanistan's Farah province, Sept. 27,
2012. Weber is assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah. U.S.
Navy photo by Lt. Benjamin Addison
Attacks by members of Afghanistan’s security forces or insurgents
wearing Afghan uniforms have killed dozens of coalition service members.
“We've faced a period of particular threat with respect to insider
attacks in the aftermath of the very insulting and damaging film that
was circulating over the Internet,” Bradshaw said. “It caused widespread
disturbance across the Middle East, which was starting to emerge in
Afghanistan. As a result, commanders were directed to carry out full
risk assessments, and to run the assessments past the regional
commanders, so that they could assess the risk levels involved at all
the levels which we’re mentoring.”
A “brief pause” in partnered operations took place some areas while
those risk assessments were being completed, Bradshaw said, but he added
that normal operations rapidly resumed.
“The majority of people are carrying on operations as they were before
these checks and these risk assessments took place,” he said. “There may
have been some minor adjustments. But largely, as I say, we are totally
back to normal.
“And indeed in many areas, mentoring really did not cease,” the general
continued. “The risk assessments were carried out simultaneously with
operations continuing, and there was really no interruption in
The British general said in terms of addressing the threat, ISAF has
introduced some changes into the counterintelligence operations of the
Afghan security forces.
“We're assisting them with some of this,” Bradshaw said. “They have
adjusted the numbers of people who are involved in counterintelligence.”
The Afghan government’s national security function is working in closer
counterintelligence cooperation with the Afghan security forces and ISAF
partners, Bradshaw said. “So the whole process is a lot more joined up,”
the meantime, Bradshaw said, the Afghans have greatly improved their
vetting procedures for new recruits. “They've also looked back at all of
the people who have been vetted in the past, and carried out extensive
re-checking to make sure that procedures have been properly carried
out,” the general told reporters. “And we're also improving various
aspects of our own training, with regard to working up close, alongside
our Afghan partners.”
The British general also noted that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is
“very much engaged in this effort,” and has decided to incorporate
officers from the Afghan army’s Religious and Cultural Affairs
Department to assist in training ISAF forces.
“We already do a great deal of cultural and language training for our
troops before they come into theater,” Bradshaw said. “So, in a number
of areas, we are improving procedures, and in this way we are driving
the risks down for our troops.”
Bradshaw said coalition forces “are now more prepared” after evolving
more efficient systems with their Afghan partners to identify risks.
“We believe that we are making the environment noticeably safer for our
people as a result,” he added.