A trend of Afghan treachery that has taken the lives of six American troops over the past week is weakening trust between Afghan forces and the U.S. and allied troops who are training and advising them.
In the nerve-rattling setting of a conflict in which the enemy wears no uniform, it takes trust to work side by side with Afghans whose loyalties are hard to decipher.
More U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Feb. 1 by their supposed Afghan allies than in combat with the Taliban, according to an Associated Press review.
Administration officials insist there will be no backing away from working hand in hand with Afghan forces. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made that point when he spoke to soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division on Friday.