The House Armed Services Committee chairman did not commit to holding a hearing this fall on the rash of "green-on-blue," or insider attacks, that have killed ten U.S. service members in Afghanistan the past two weeks. Although his office hinted it was a strong possibility.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine officer, wrote to Rep. Buck McKeon, the committee chairman, to request a hearing or briefing from military leaders on what steps the U.S. is taking to stem these attacks.
Hunter, a member of the armed services committee, called the spike of insider attacks, 32 in 2012, "alarming." McKeon's said the attacks on U.S. soldiers from supposed Afghan allies has "commanded significant attention this year."
President Obama spoke Monday about his concerns with the insider attacks saying the U.S. must be careful not to scuttle partnerships built between U.S. and Afghan forces. However, the training of Afghan security forces can't leave U.S. troops too "vulnerable," Obama said.
Pentagon officials have said they are re-evaluating the eight-step vetting process the U.S. and Afghan armies use when checking potential Afghan army and police recruits for connections to the Taliban. U.S. troops have also started the "guardian angel" program where a U.S. service member watches the back of a fellow trainer to protect from a surprise attack.
Claude Chafin, McKeon's spokesman, pointed out the armed services committee has sponsored two hearings already on "blue on green" issues. The subject was also discussed during a series of hearings held this year to discuss the future of the Afghan National Security Forces. That's not to say the committee will not hold another hearing on the subject this fall.
"None of this should be considered the final word on this troubling trend, but part our ongoing effort to help manage the risks our war fighters face in Afghanistan," Chafin said.