Clash Between Afghan, U.S. Troops Kills 5

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 30 2012 2:36 PM

Shootout Between Afghan, U.S. Troops Kills Two Americans and Three Afghans

Afghan National Army soldiers take part in an exercise under the supervision of French soldiers in Kabul

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/GettyImages

Just as joint operations between American and Afghan troops were supposed to be getting back to normal, there was another big setback this weekend when U.S. and Afghan troops appear to have turned their guns on each other, leaving five people dead. The shootout pushed the death toll of U.S. military and civilian personnel to the 2,000 mark. Although it’s evident that the exchange of fire illustrates how trust between U.S. and Afghan troops has broken down after a string of insider attacks, it’s far from clear what actually happened, reports the Wall Street Journal.

At first the NATO coalition had said the attack may have been the result of an insider attack, but later insisted that it may have been the result of a big misunderstanding that took place due to nearby insurgent gunfire, reports Reuters. Afghan officials say that the Americans seem to have attacked an Afghan National Army unit by mistake, but a “top coalition officer” said it was the Americans who were attacked first, reports the New York Times.


It will likely take a couple of days to figure out with any certainty who fired the first shots, but the incident “illustrates how tense relations have become between international troops and their Afghan allies,” writes the Associated Press. More than 50 coalition troops, mostly Americans, have been killed by Afghan police or soldiers this year.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Why Time Is on Our Side in the Fight Against Ebola

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 1 2014 4:55 PM Blood Before Bud? Must a gentleman’s brother always be the best man at his wedding?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?