By Carlo Muñoz - 03/26/12 05:22 PM EDT
American and NATO troops will continue to face the threat of attacks from their Afghan counterparts for the duration of their mission, Afghanistan commander Gen. John Allen warned on Monday.
So-called "green on blue" violence on American soldiers is simply "a characteristic of counterinsurgency [operations]," Allen told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.
Allen's comments come amid new reports of Afghan soldiers turning their fire on foreign service members.
A rogue Afghan army officer shot and killed one British soldier and a Royal Marine and wounded a third early Monday morning at the unit's outpost in Lashkar Gah, the capitol of Afghanistan's restive Helmund province, reports said.
The shootings come weeks after two U.S. officers were killed by an Afghan security official inside the country's Ministry of the Interior, after the accidental burnings of the Quran by American troops sparked a week of violent protests in the country.
Last April, a colonel with the Afghan Air Force shot several U.S. Air Force officers at Bagram Air Base in Kandahar.
Those officers were reportedly investigating a drug-smuggling ring allegedly run by Afghan airmen at the time they were shot.
While the Taliban has claimed responsibility for a majority of these incidents, many of the attacks "are not a direct result" of Taliban infiltration into the Afghan military, said Allen.
The commander, though, declined to comment on whether recent murder charges brought against U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales would result in an uptick of violence against American soldiers by Afghan troops.
However, the four-star general did call the need for revenge "prevalent" within Afghan culture, especially in incidents like the Bales case.
Bales has been charged with 17 counts of murder for allegedly killing 17 Afghan civilians on March 11. He is being held at a prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
While American officials have paid restitution to the families of victims in the Bales incident, Allen said U.S. and coalition leaders "will keep an eye on" the situation as the Pentagon investigation continues.