Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene was killed Tuesday after a man believed to be a uniformed Afghan army soldier opened fire on coalition forces during a routine “site visit” at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, officials said. Green, who served as the deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, is “certainly one of the highest ranking deaths” since Sept. 11, 2001, “if not the” highest, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene’s family, and the families of our soldiers who were injured today in the tragic events that took place in Afghanistan,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno in a Aug. 5 statement. He added, “These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission. It is their service and sacrifice that define us as an Army.” During a mid-afternoon press briefing, Kirby said there were “up to 15” casualties, though not all were Americans. Despite measures put in place to mitigate insider attacks since 2012, Afghanistan is still at war and insider threats are “pernicious” and “difficult to ascertain,” Kirby said. The shooter was killed shortly after the attack. A joint ISAF-Afghan investigation is now under way. Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with ISAF Commander Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford after the attack, pledging support for the investigation. (Kirby transcript)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.