Colour-blind in Afghanistan

I don’t understand why the attacks on NATO and ISAF soldiers by members of the Afghan Army are called “green-on-blue” attacks. Given the colour of the uniforms, shouldn’t they be called “blue-on-green” attacks?

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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6 Responses to Colour-blind in Afghanistan

  1. If you seriously don’t know, it’s because in military games from the Cold War, the “good” guys (the US) were always represented as blue, and the Soviets as red. (Interestingly, the Soviet leaders assigned red to their forces, and blue to ours as well.) Since the Afghan forces are supposedly friendly, we can’t use red to represent them, and if we group them with our forces, it technically becomes fratricide (or that horrible phrase “friendly fire”). Hence the Afghans become “green” – mostly friendly (blue) but with a cautionary element (yellow) making green.
    And if you were just kidding, I just wasted minutes of your time burying you in information you already had. OOPS! :D

    • Harry says:

      Green –> Islamic Green?

    • I don’t believe the colour was meant for any religious alignment. I’m fairly certain that any religious alignment is accepted into the Afghani forces, including Shia, Sunni, and Aloite(?) Muslims, as well as Christian (I forget their group name) and Kurd. I would certainly hope NATO knows well enough not to mix natural foes like Shia and Sunni in the same unit – but then I consider the oxymoron of “military intelligence”. ;)

    • I seriously did not know that. Thank you very much!

    • JoshuaFalken says:

      Naming fictious countries after colours seems to be a general military habit: (Sorry, this is only available in German, but maybe Google translate will work well enough to let you grasp the key points if you don’t speak German).

  2. Harry says:

    Ich denke Goethe weint.

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