No one knows for sure who was responsible for the slaying outside of Kabul of Maj Gen. Harold Greene—the first American general killed in a war zone since Vietnam. But U.S. intelligence agencies have recently detected a spike in threats from the Taliban and other associated jihadist organizations in Afghanistan, particularly against Kabul. And one American congressman has already laid the assassination at the feet of the Taliban.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said simply that the attacker was a man wearing an Afghan army uniform. A Taliban spokesman on Tuesday praised the attack but did not claim credit for it.
But House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon sees a Taliban hand behind the slaying. “Because the Taliban has been unable to succeed militarily against Afghan and coalition forces, they are continuing to conduct cowardly, headline-grabbing insider attacks,” he said in a statement.
The Taliban have spent the last seven years trying to embed moles inside Afghanistan’s army and security services. At a press briefing Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby was careful not to assign blame for the attack, describing the assailant only as an Afghan soldier. But the U.S. military has spoken publicly for years about its efforts to root out the Taliban infiltrators inside the military President Obama hopes will keep Afghanistan from becoming an al Qaeda haven.
One congressional staff member told The Daily Beast, “Our view is: This is Taliban until proven otherwise.”