This was betrayal at the highest level…
I spoke enough Farsi that my team put me in charge of our Afghan counterparts when we deployed.
I would meet with Afghan leadership every day, usually on my own or just with an interpreter.
After months of working closely with the Afghans, I developed a friendship with one of their lieutenants named Hasan who spoke enough English that it made communicating with their team 10x easier.
I began to trust Hasan and even stopped wearing body armor when we met. He introduced me to his family, and after learning about their love of soccer, I got them a soccer ball.
Then one day on patrol, our team got shot up in an area that no one should have known we would be, unless they were tipped off.
We found out later that a Taliban commander named Hasan had orchestrated the attack after learning about our patrol from an American. Turns out my “friend” Hasan was the TB commander, and I was the American tipping him off.
I didn’t believe it at first, but after thinking about it, I remembered a number of red flags that I had been overlooking, most notably his keen interest in missions that he wasn't involved in.
It is wise to remember that there are wolves hiding in sheep's clothing.
Trust but verify.