El Paso, TX — As US and NATO casualties in Afghanistan continue to mount from Green on Blue attacks, the failure of the US Department of Defense (DOD) leadership to adequately address and resolve this critical Force Protection issue becomes more apparent.
‘Green on Blue’ refers to criminal and terrorist attacks by members of the Afghan military and police forces on their US and NATO counterparts. According to a report by Dr. Jeffrey Bordin, a US Army sociologist who conducted a ground-breaking study of Green on Blue trends in Afghanistan, such attacks by an ally are unprecedented in modern military history. Green on Blue attacks are the product of an underlying “cultural clash” that has been largely ignored by senior US military leaders, who appear to be more concerned with meeting self-imposed training quotas than selecting and training high-quality Afghan security forces. According to Dr. Bordin’s report, many Afghan military and police members are described as drug addicted, corrupt, radicalized, and anti-American.
Commander Ivan Ortega of The RRA Center advised the primary failure of NATO Force Protection policy is the requirement to have NATO personnel train Afghan nationals, whose attitudes and loyalties toward the US and NATO are largely unknown. “Such serious counterintelligence oversights reveal a significant lack of Force Protection appreciation by senior military leaders, who appear to have made the decision to place the lives of NATO troops in jeopardy by requiring them to work alongside Afghan nationals with questionable loyalties.”
According to Commander Ortega, the proper vetting of unknown and well-armed foreign military and police members is a foundational security measure that has largely been ignored by both DOD and NATO. “NATO has proven it simply does not have the capacity to conduct large-scale and effective vetting operations. Instead, NATO agreed to an overly simplistic “8-Step” vetting process which relies upon non-vetted Afghanis, with unknown loyalties, to scrutinize their own nationals. Further, this ill-conceived process provides virtually no oversight mechanisms for NATO. Moreover, most NATO units are restricted from conducting their own vetting of Afghan military and police recruits.”
Ortega advised the technology used by the DOD and NATO to vet individuals has not significantly changed since the 1950’s. According to the US National Academy of Sciences, the DOD’s polygraph program is incapable of effectively conducting massive personnel security screening missions. Additionally, the DOD has less than 250 operational polygraph examiners to protect hundreds-of-thousands of US military members deployed worldwide. “Such background information paints a bleak picture of the DOD’s ability to execute effective Counterintelligence Operations in support of its Force Protection mission.”
According to Commander Ortega, the Remote Risk Assessment (RRA) system could solve these Force Protection issues in a efficient, reliable, secure, and cost-effective manner. Ortega stated the goal of RRA is simple: To evaluate trust and risk levels of individuals in sensitive positions who may be susceptible to corruption, criminal activity or other behaviors that adversely impact upon their suitability, loyalty or trustworthiness.
Commander Ortega explained “RRA is a true Force Multiplier since it reduces the manpower requirements for vetting missions by 90% or more, while at the same time precisely identifying risks and threats posed by individuals of unknown credibility. The RRA system is simple to implement and can conduct hundreds-to-thousands of unbiased trust assessment interviews per day, which makes it ideal for vetting individuals applying to join the Afghan Military or Police.” Ortega also noted the RRA system has proven its accuracy rate to be greater than 95% during actual trust assessment interviews.
Commander Ivan Ortega
The RRA Center