Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Follow-Up: ‘Green On Blue’ Violence

We got a lot of response to our story on so-called “green on blue” violence in Afghanistan the other day. The phrase is used to describe attacks by Afghan workers or Afghan soldiers on the NATO forces that are either working with them or training them. I made the mistake of connecting this to uniform colors, as listener D.W. de Ganne pointed out in an email to us: “The term “Green on blue violence” has NOTHING TO DO with the color of anyone’s uniforms; it stems from NATO symbology which uses blue to identify “friendly” forces, red to identify “enemy” forces, and green to identify “neutral” forces. The color coding is kind of ubiquitous, from the ‘Red Team’ of war games (where the Army maintains units equipped with Soviet gear to represent the enemy) to the U.S. GPS-based system for keeping track of the location of troops in the battlespace, called “Blue Force Tracker.”

Listener Greg Holes wrote:

The U.S. Army uniforms in Afghanistan are a mix of green and two different shades of brown. The Marines are similar, but also have a tan uniform that has no green at all. The Only U.S. forces that have blue uniforms are the Navy and when they are attached to ground units in Afghanistan they wear the uniforms mentioned above. The Afghan security forces have several uniforms (Afghan National Army, Afghan Civil Order Police, Afghan National Police, etc) some of which are actually blue (the Afghan National Police.)

The attacks are taking a toll. In a 24-hour period last week six NATO troops were killed in green-on-blue attacks and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is blaming the Taliban for the recent increase. So far this year nearly 40 NATO troops or contractors have been killed in these sorts of attacks.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 2 5 Comments

Study: Chemo Unnecessary In Many Cases Of Early-Stage Breast Cancer

A new study finds that many women with early stage breast cancer don't benefit from chemotherapy.

October 2 3 Comments

Fishing For Gold After Viral Video Fame

The video of a Boston-area man's incredulous and expletive-laden discovery of a sunfish has gone viral. What happens now?

October 1 Comment

A Rare Bipartisan Effort To Reform The Criminal Justice System

The legislation would reduce mandatory minimums for certain drug offenses and largely ban solitary confinement for juveniles.

October 1 42 Comments

What Does It Mean To Raise A Spiritual Child?

Psychologist Lisa Miller discusses the scientific link between spirituality and health, and how it relates to children.