Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Redacted version of border incident report

A redacted version of the official investigation by Brigadier General Stephen A Clark into the recent incident at the Salala Checkpoint, Khas-Kunar province on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed can be found here.
While stating that the catalyst for the engagement was the opening of fire on a joint Afghan Army/US Special Forces operation by Pakistani soldiers from the other side of the poorly demarcated border, the report admits that procedures and directives governing this kind of operation close to the border "lacked clarity and precision" and were not followed. It further states that "time-sensitive senior Command override measures" for such incidents are lacking and that a series of mis-communications within the chain of command delayed confirmation of the identity of the Pakistani forces that had been attacked.
That having been said, the hysterical reaction of the Pakistan military to the incident had more to do with internal politicking and relations between the military and the civilian government than to the incident itself. Pakistan's military and intelligence communities are increasingly disturbed by the devastation being caused to the insurgency along the border by the US drone campaign and operations such as the one that led to this firing incident. It is no secret that they are only willing to take action against insurgents who are fighting the Pakistani state itself, not against those who target NATO and US forces across the border in Afghanistan.

No comments: