The bad news out of Afghanistan won’t stop. It’s like the longest nightmare ever and we just can’t wake up.After seven green-on-blue (Afghans attacking American counterparts) attacks in the last eleven days, Gen John Allen has ordered all ISAF troops stationed on Afghan bases to remain armed at all times. The story does not specify if this order requires forces to be Condition 3 (magazine inserted, chamber empty) or Condition 1 (magazine inserted, round in chamber, weapon on safe).
When I last wrote about the green-on-blue problem in April, I wondered about this specific issue. Many observers will wonder why this order was such a long time coming, myself among them. But I think it would be a mistake to conclude that these pernicious attacks will be stopped simply because advisors are keeping their weapons loaded. To draw such a conclusion is akin to saying a movie theatre patron with a concealed weapon would have stopped James Holmes before he killed twelve people.
I don’t recall a specific order from my team leader or our higher headquarters about our weapons condition. We were issued an M-4 carbine and an M-9 pistol as advisors. I carried both on the 200m walk from the advisor compound to my office. The advisor building was a windowless building located amongst the Iraqi office buildings. We had one entrance, with a high table just inside the door and sandbags stacked underneath. We kept two M240B machine guns nearby, I guess in case the Iraqis decided to lay siege to our building.
I never went to see my counterparts without my M-9 in Condition 1 status. Never. And this was in Iraq where the insider threat was much, much lower, maybe even nonexistent compared with the current situation in Afghanistan.
In the beginning, I tucked my utility blouse behind my hip holster so that the weapon could be easily seen ….
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