Afghan leaders appear ready to take decisive action to curb unprecedented "insider attacks" by Afghan recruits that have killed 40 Western troops this year, the top US military officer says.
"For the first time, I found that my Afghan counterparts are as concerned about the insider attacks as we are," General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said after talks in Kabul on Monday.
"In the past, it's been us pushing on them to make sure that they do more," he told AFP and Fox News.
The four-star general met commanders of the NATO-led force and Afghan top brass amid growing concern over a surge in assaults by Afghan security personnel on their international colleagues.
A total of 10 soldiers, mostly Americans, have lost their lives at the hands of their Afghan allies in the past two weeks, and the attacks have caused almost one in every four coalition deaths in the war so far this month.
The 40 deaths so far this year amount to 13 per cent of all international coalition fatalities in 2012.
The assaults have confounded the international force, which has touted its partnership with Afghan troops as the key to withdrawing combat troops over the next two years.
President Barack Obama said on Monday the US was watching the rise in insider attacks with "deep concern", telling a White House news conference: "Obviously, we have to do more."
NATO and American officers have suggested the Afghan government has failed to come to grips with the problem but Dempsey said he came away "reassured" after discussions with his Afghan counterpart, General Shir Mohammad Karimi.
"I am reassured that the Afghan leaders, military and civilian, understand how important this moment is," Dempsey said.
Taliban insurgents have taken credit for the so-called green-on-blue assaults while NATO officers say an internal review showed only about 10 percent of them were the result of infiltration.
NATO has blamed the incidents on a mixture of cultural differences, personal vendettas and propaganda by Islamist militants.
In the latest incident an Afghan in police uniform killed a NATO soldier in the south on Sunday, shortly before Dempsey arrived, the military said.
The attacks are unprecedented in US military history and they have spawned so much mistrust that troops have been ordered to be armed at all times, even within bases, officers say.