Col. Oliver North: Killing of Gen. Greene Should Spark Vetting Process

Image: Col. Oliver North: Killing of Gen. Greene Should Spark Vetting Process (Handout/Reuters/Landov)

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 03:20 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The death of two-star Army General Harold J. Greene in Afghanistan on Tuesday should spark a more intense vetting process for military personnel hired by a host country where U.S. troops are serving, said Lt. Col. Oliver North.

"Vetting and clearing local personnel is the responsibility of the host government, whether it's Afghanistan or Iraq or even Jordan, or maybe even Turkey," North, a retired Marine officer, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "I do think it's going to increase the need for vetting, whether it's 10,000 troops we leave behind or fewer."

The gunman, who was thought to be an Afghan soldier, may have had no ties to the Taliban, and could have been a "sleeper jihadist" who acted independently, North said Wednesday.

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"I'm told that the perpetrator, like so many others who've conducted these insider attacks, was very likely a radical Islamist who joined the Afghan national security forces specifically because he wanted to carry out jihad, and waited for a target of opportunity," he said.

Senior military officers have a Personal Security Detachment, North explained, that accompanies them "to inspect and make sure that our resources are being properly applied to the fight." He said the military might need to upgrade the use of PSDs, given the threat faced by U.S. troops still in Afghanistan.

North said he did not anticipate that Tuesday's attack would alter the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. He said military forces were "vulnerable to this kind of thing" if a host nation was not "doing the kinds of clearance that they need."

North called it "good news" if reports were true that Iraqi forces killed 60 militants in an airstrike on Wednesday in Mosul. While the regime of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was still "shaky," he said the incident could show that the militant forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were not as impenetrable as they first appeared.

"If this report is true, it shows ISIL is not invincible. And, it's the first real reversal that they've experienced since they invaded Iraq and declared much of Iraq in the north and the west to be part of their new caliphate," he said.

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