Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Gen. Joseph Dunford probably knew it was going to be a tough job — being what is likely the last commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — refocusing from combat to withdrawal.But instead of the Taliban giving him trouble, it’s the guy he’s trying to support: Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai has become increasingly erratic in recent months, cancelling plans for a news conference with new Secretary of defence Chuck Hagel, kicking out U.S. Special Forces from a crucial province, and actually accusing the U.S. of supporting the Taliban.
From The Guardian:
“The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they [the Taliban] are at the service of America,” Karzai said in a nationally televised speech to mark International Women’s Day. “They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents.”
The behaviour has Dunford worried, as a leaked threat advisory obtained by The New York Times reveals. The messages are often routine, but unusual to come direct from a commanding general, an unnamed offical told the Times.
Dunford specifically called out Karzai’s comments about Bagram prison as “inflammatory speech,” and warned his subordinate commanders that Karzai’s comments may motivate more insider attacks against troops.
From The Times:
Frustration with Mr. Karzai was clear in the alert, known as a command threat advisory, sent on Wednesday by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to his top commanders. “His remarks could be a catalyst for some to lash out against our forces — he may also issue orders that put our forces at risk,” the advisory read.
Tim Foxley, a former senior analyst at the UK Ministry of Defence who now works independently, believes the General is sending a message.
“The public manner of the announcement is perhaps the calculated politics of it — sending a warning signal to Karzai,” Foxley told Business Insider in an email. ” … I expect a lot of diplomats to be earning their salary over the next few days to ensure that this issue is put away as soon and as calmly as possible. Dunford’s response is as much pointed diplomatic response as it is prudent military precaution – Karzai probably didn’t have to be named, references to the ‘current political climate’ or similar might have sufficed as justification for raising the security threshold.”
So it’s a rough time to be a soldier in Afghanistan, as Dunford’s warning shows. Two Special Forces soldiers were killed Monday in an insider attack, and there were 47 insider attacks last year, mostly against U.S. troops, as The Washington Times reports.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.