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Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan could be speeded up, says [Nato's] Rasmussen

The  retreat of western forces from Afghanistan could come sooner than expected, the head of Nato has said as he conceded that the recent Taliban strategy of "green on blue" killings had been successful in sapping morale.

In an interview with the Guardian Nato's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, responded to pressure for a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan by stating that the options were being studied and should be clear within three months

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Rasmussen admitted that the killings of almost 50 allied troops this year in "green on blue" attacks – Afghan security forces turning on their trainers and mentors – had damaged the relationship between the international forces and the Afghan police and military.

"There's no doubt insider attacks have undermined trust and confidence, absolutely," he said.

Amid argument among analysts as to what has been behind the stream of "green on blue" attacks, Nato officers on the ground are reported to have ascribed them mainly to disgruntled and embittered Afghan security forces with grudges against their western mentors.

While Rasmussen conceded there may have been some such cases, Nato has clearly concluded from intelligence that the attacks have more to do with a Taliban strategy of infiltration of the Afghan security structures aimed at sowing distrust and confusion.

"It's safe to say that a significant part of the insider attacks are due to Taliban tactics … Probably it is part of a Taliban strategy," he said.

On  the pace and phasing of withdrawal – the difficult task of pulling out more than 120,000 troops from forbidding and frequently hostile terrain – Rasmussen said a key moment would come later this year when General John Allen, the US overall commander of the operations, delivered a report with his military recommendations.

"Political decisions will be taken based on his recommendations as to how we will adapt to the transfer of lead responsibility to the Afghans," he said. "The pace will very much depend on the security situation on the ground."

That's the same Gen Allen that said this on 60 Minutes..
Gen. John Allen, a top American commander overseeing troops in Afghanistan, said he was "mad as hell" about the increase during an interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday night. "We're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we're not willing to be murdered for it."
Okay, let's recap.

1. Nato has finally woken up.

2. The "relationship" with Afghanistan is fractured and broken

3. Green on Blue is Taliban -- NOT culturally "offended" citizens.

Questions.  

1. Will US media carry this story?

2.  Will Panetta comment, retract the "culturally offended" analysis we've been being fed for months now?  Support?

3.  Will the Admin even acknowledge these statements exist or revise its plans?

Don't hold your breath.

Leave these people to themselves.

Leave Now!

Stop the War.

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