Pakistanis admit to firing first on NATO troops.
Via Drudge comes the beginnings of clarity on this issue: it’s now being tacitly admitted by the Pakistan government that Saturday’s conflict was initiated by their own troops. Essentially, Afghan/American troops were raiding Taliban in Afghanistan when Pakistan troops fired on them (the Pakistan government maintains that their troops were attacking on what they thought were insurgents). NATO airstrikes were the result, which shot up two military posts and killed over twenty Pakistani troops.
The Pakistanis’ claim here is that they alerted NATO forces that it was their military posts that were being shot up (although they apparently informed NATO earlier that they had no troops in the area); one Afghan response to that was that the insurgents that NATO/Afghan troops were hunting had retreated to said posts and continued to shoot from there. Which, if true, more or less illustrates the reason why you do not offer tactical shelter to people who are shooting at United States troops. The end result will be the local real estate getting reconfigured into a state best described as ‘lunar landscape.’
There’s not much else to say here, except that while I can understand that the Pakistan government might be a little upset that we wiped two of their military posts off of the map, they may wish to contemplate the minor point that we’re perhaps a little upset that the Pakistani government was tacitly shielding Osama bin Laden for ten years. Yes, I’m aware that Pakistan was shocked, shocked! to hear that bin Laden had been living for the last half-decade in a building used by the ISI*. Now ask me if I believe them – but, at any rate, the larger point still stands: there is precious little trust these days between Pakistan and American military forces, and it is frankly mostly the Pakistani government’s own fault that this has happened. There’s not really any goodwill left. Something to consider, the next time a Pakistani military base commander sees a bunch of Taliban running towards his position and looking for shelter.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Inter-Services Intelligence: Pakistan’s top intelligence agency. And we’ve been funding them for years! But yet the ISI didn’t notice that one of their old safe houses had been taken over by Osama bin Laden. Isn’t that funny?