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Training And Vigilance Reduced Afghan Insider Attacks: US Commander

Effective counter-intelligence training and vigilance have helped reduce the threat of insider attacks in Afghanistan to one this year, according to the Commander of U.S. Central Command.

Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday on the decline of "green-on-blue" violence in Afghanistan, where Afghan soldiers attack U.S. military personnel and their coalition partners.

As of September 2012, 45 members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had been killed in insider attacks.

"It goes to the very heart of trust," Mattis said. "So far this year, [there's only been] one attack. Now, I do not get complacent. I think I know why it's gone down. It has to do with training," he told the Committee.

"It has to do with counter-intelligence training we've given to the Afghans so they have ferreted out some of these people inside their ranks, and caught them," the American Forces Press Service quoted Mattis as saying.

Despite the decline in attacks, he said there had been very little change in interaction with Afghan troops.

Mattis said if contrasted to two years ago, "you would probably find very little difference in what you saw as far as our troops interacting with their troops."

"We are very much involved with them, integrated with them," he said. "We are obviously taking what you would consider prudent measures in the field to protect ourselves."

Mattis noted Afghan troops have lost more of their own in "green-on-green" than U.S. forces have in green-on-blue attacks.

"So we have had whole-hearted support from the Afghan leadership in addressing this problem," he said. "And it appears to be paying off."

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