Guardian Angels in Afghanistan – Foreign Policy
An increase in Afghan security forces attacking their NATO counterparts – or what have been called “Green on blue” incidents – is prompting the U.S. military to implement a host of new safeguards, top Pentagon officials announced Tuesday, Aug. 14. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force will increase intelligence and counterintelligence efforts aimed at stopping attacks before they occur, establish forensic teams that will analyze attacks, improve the vetting process for Afghan security forces, and require that a NATO service member, dubbed a “Guardian angel,” observe any gathering of NATO and Afghan troops. The guardian angel will “Watch people’s backs and hopefully identify people that would be involved in those attacks,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters during an Aug. 14 briefing at the Pentagon. There have been 27 green-on-blue incidents so far in 2012, which have led to 37 deaths, according to ISAF. There have been several such attacks in the last week, killing three NATO troops and wounding two. “General Allen is meeting with the [Afghan] security minister to talk about further steps to take in order to protect against these attacks, and he’s also meeting with the village elders,” said Panetta. At the briefing, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that, as part of his upcoming tour of the Middle East, he will travel to Kabul next week to talk with Allen about how to protect against what he called an “Insider attack threat.” “I think you’ll hear us start talking about these incidents more as ‘insider attack’ rather than ‘green on blue’ because that understates the effect this is having on the ANSF itself. They’re suffering casualties from the same trend that we’re suffering” from, said Dempsey. Allen will also meet with all his one-star generals in Afghanistan to discuss ways to end the attacks. Afghan defense officials will hold a summit to discuss how to fight the problem. Dempsey noted that the Afghan security forces have “Discharged hundreds of soldiers who did indicate that some of these young men had the capability to be radicalized.” These soldiers were known to have consumed terrorist propaganda or frequently traveled back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Dempsey. The attacks may cause ISAF to increase the ratio of NATO mentors to Afghan troops being trained, according to Maj. Gen. Tod Wolters, who was in charge of the Air Force’s presence in Afghanistan from May 2011 until May 2012. While “99.9 percent” of coalition troops and Afghan security forces share a high level of trust, “It just takes one green-on-blue incident where some yo-yo goes off and does something stupid, and now you start to levy some uncertainty on that trust that was established,” Wolters said in an Aug. 14 talk at the Air Force Association. The model Wolters referred to is the coalition’s plan to shift from counterinsurgency warfare, in which NATO troops lead combat missions, toward supporting Afghan troops who lead and conduct missions. “Any time you have one of these green-on-blue incidents, as you can well imagine, you’re probably a little less prone to have one coalition member support 50 Afghan security members. You might be in a position where you desire to have five or six coalition members,” said Wolters, noting that these were examples, not the actual ratios. While Panetta did say that the Taliban has begun to use insider attacks to hit NATO forces with increasing frequency, he was quick to point out that there are multiple kinds of attackers. “Some of it is individuals who for one reason or another are upset and suddenly take it out” on NATO troops; other attacks are conducted by “Self-radicalized” Afghans with no ties to the Taliban or by insurgent groups that have infiltrated the Afghan security forces.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Guardian Angels
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more – all for only $19.99…. That every individual soul has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church, and is not an article of faith; but it is the “Mind of the Church”, as St. Jerome expressed it: “How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it.” This belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch, and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and Assyrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an Assyrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: “He sent a tutelary deity of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed.” In the Bible this doctrine is clearly discernible and its development is well marked. In Genesis 28-29, angels not only act as the executors of God’s wrath against the cities of the plain, but they deliver Lot from danger; in Exodus 12-13, an angel is the appointed leader of the host of Israel, and in 32:34, God says to Moses: “My angel shall go before thee.” At a much later period we have the story of Tobias, which might serve for a commentary on the words of Psalm 90:11: “For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways.” Lastly, in Daniel 10 angels are entrusted with the care of particular districts; one is called “Prince of the kingdom of the Persians”, and Michael is termed “One of the chief princes”; cf. This sums up the Old Testament doctrine on the point; it is clear that the Old Testament conceived of God’s angels as His ministers who carried out his behests, and who were at times given special commissions, regarding men and mundane affairs. There is no special teaching; the doctrine is rather taken for granted than expressly laid down; cf. In the New Testament the doctrine is stated with greater precision. Angels are everywhere the intermediaries between God and man; and Christ set a seal upon the Old Testament teaching: “See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” A twofold aspect of the doctrine is here put before us: even little children have guardian angels, and these same angels lose not the vision of God by the fact that they have a mission to fulfil on earth. Without dwelling on the various passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of guardian angels is suggested, it may suffice to mention the angel who succoured Christ in the garden, and the angel who delivered St. Peter from prison. Hebrews 1:14 puts the doctrine in its clearest light: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” This is the function of the guardian angels; they are to lead us, if we wish it, to the Kingdom of Heaven. St. Thomas teaches us that only the lowest orders of angels are sent to men, and consequently that they alone are our guardians, though Scotus and Durandus would rather say that any of the members of the angelic host may be sent to execute the Divine commands. Not only the baptized, but every soul that cometh into the world receives a guardian spirit; St. Basil and possibly St. Chrysostom would hold that only Christians were so privileged. Our guardian angels can act upon our senses and upon our imaginations – not upon our wills, except “Per modum suadentis”, viz.