Afghan authorities have detained or removed hundreds of soldiers in an investigation into rising insider attacks against international service personnel who are their supposed partners in the fight against Taliban insurgents and other militants, officials said Wednesday.
The crackdown is the result of the Afghan Defense Ministry's effort to re-evaluate soldiers to stem the attacks, which are complicating plans to train Afghan forces so that most foreign troops can withdraw from the country by the end of 2014. President Hamid Karzai's government hopes Afghan forces can take responsibility for security nationwide by that time.
The U.S. military is taking precautionary measures too and recently stopped training about 1,000 members of the Afghan Local Police, a controversial network of village-defense units that is growing but remains a fraction of the country's army and police force. Karzai has expressed concern that without careful vetting, the program could end up arming local troublemakers, strongmen or criminals.