WASHINGTON: Deadly unrest in Afghanistan has thrown a spotlight on the uneasy partnership between NATO and Afghan forces, exposing a potential Achilles heel for a war effort that depends on building trust with Kabul's soldiers and police.
The White House and the Pentagon insisted Monday that attacks on US troops, including the killing of two military advisers over the weekend, were "isolated" incidents and predicted turmoil over the burning of the Koran at an American base would soon blow over.
But US commanders are increasingly concerned about a rising trend of "fratricide" in the past two years, with Afghan troops turning their weapons on their American and NATO counterparts, often out of resentment and not due to an insurgent plot.
The violence that has erupted over the past week after US troops sent copies of the Koran to an incinerator at the Bagram Air Base seemed to underline a vast cultural gap between NATO troops and their purported Afghan allies, contradicting a more upbeat picture painted by the Pentagon. (AFP)