An insider attack by an Afghan soldier killed a U.S. Army major general and at least one other coalition member at a military training academy outside of Kabul on Tuesday. The Pentagon has confirmed to The Daily Beast that the victim is Major General Harold Greene, the deputy commanding general for the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A), which gathers members of various coalition nations to train and develop the Afghan security forces.
The U.S. war in Afghanistan is due to either end or transition to a significantly reduced mission and military commitment after this year. Recently, leading up to the drawdown, the war effort has shifted away from U.S.-led combat and toward training and equipping Afghan forces with Americans in an advisory role. Before he was killed, Greene was in the small group of military leaders overseeing one of the key strategic efforts considered critical to the success of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
A native of Albany, NY, Greene spent 34 years in the army. After receiving his bachelors degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, Greene began his career as an engineer officer. As he was promoted into the senior ranks of field grade officers, Greene’s assignments, as listed in his army biography, show him moving into the military’s logistics and acquisitions fields. Immediately prior to his assignment in Afghanistan Greene worked as the deputy for acquisition and systems management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army. Before that he served as the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. High ranking officers like Greene, working in the army’s logistics and acquisitions fields, can be responsible for making choices that determine the equipment used by hundreds of thousands of soldiers and often have price tags in the hundreds of millions.
Greene was assigned to his most recent position in Afghanistan in January. He's the highest-ranking member of the U.S. military to be killed in Afghanistan during 13 years of war. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the assailant was killed after the ambush. Sources say he was a member of the Afghan forces. An Afghan defense spokesman said that one NATO service member was also killed and up to 15 were wounded, including three Afghan troops.