August 1, 2013

In Afghanistan, Mixed Reasons for Drop in Attacks

UT San Diego | KIMBERLY DOZIER, AP | Aug. 1, 2013 | CAMP GARMSER, Afghanistan — When Marine Maj. Chris Bourbeau walked alone into an Afghan base last spring, he left behind his helmet, bulletproof jacket and rifle. Given the deadly insider attacks that had rocked U.S.-Afghan relations, he was putting his trust - and his life - in the hands of the Afghan troops he was training.

 "I tell people who are visiting: `Take that stuff off. Your first line of defense is your rapport, not your gear,'" Bourbeau said.

That kind of cultural awareness and relationship-building is cited by a new Pentagon report noting the slight ebb in the deadly insider attacks on Americans by Afghan forces. Another reason is less encouraging: Americans have taken better measures to protect themselves.

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