NATO boosts measures to prevent Taliban from infiltrating Afghan forces

Meeting of the North Atlantic Council

From Slobodan Lekic, the AP: NATO’s governing body has approved measures to reduce the risk of attacks on alliance soldiers by Afghan security forces, officials said Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the North Atlantic Council adopted the package late Tuesday.

The measures include embedding counterintelligence officers in the Afghan army and its training schools to detect people behaving suspiciously, increasing the number of Afghan intelligence officers, and making sure Afghan troops are paid regularly and get regular leave. Random drug testing will also be implemented, Lungescu said.

"The plan will strengthen security measures, revise and improve the vetting, screening and monitoring of Afghan forces and crucially improve cultural awareness on both sides … to bridge the gap that can tragically lead to violence," Lungescu said.

Dozens of NATO soldiers have been killed in recent years in attacks by Afghan troops and policemen, including two senior U.S. military officers gunned down in their Interior Ministry office last month.

The attacks have raised fears of increased Taliban infiltration of the expanding Afghan forces as NATO moves toward a 2014 goal of ending its combat role and withdrawing most of its ground forces. Afghan army and police are due to grow from about 300,000 to more than 350,000 in the meantime.  (photo: NATO)

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