Shots in Pakistan

With all the attention of the nation given to the recent credit crisis, has anyone been watching the recent activities on the Afghan-Pakistani border? After the US military incursion into Pakistan last week, many have been wondering if the recent NATO anti-terrorism operations would lead to a conflict with Afghanistan’s neighbor. It would appear we are already there.

Last week, American special forces crossed the infamous Afghan-Pakistani border to engage suspected terrorist forces hiding in the eastern nation’s back country. After years of refusing NATO troops to enter  Pakistani territory, the recently appointed President, Asif Ali Zardari, condemned the infiltration of the sovereign nation. Zardari warned that repeated crossing of the border would result in Pakistan’s defense forces returning fire.

Earlier today, Two American helicopter gunships came under fire of Pakistani forces while on patrol with a NATO border force. The twin U.S. Army OH-58D Kiowas are used in predator-prey hunting and ground support operations for NATO and American troops in the region. Pakistani official at every level claimed the aircraft crossed into Pakistani airspace, requiring defense forces to open fire.

US commanders claim the shots were threatening, and ordered nearby American ground troops to suppress the Pakistani forces in order to redirect fire. Pakistani forces then opend fire on the American troops, engaging a full scale firefight. While the details of how the conflict was resolved are not yet known, Pakistani officials claim the initial shots taken by defense forces were warning only, and did not warrant a return volley.

While NATO and Pakistani officials discuss the engagement, Pakistan still maintains a respectful policy of sovereignty, promising to fire at any invasive incursion into their territory. This whole chain of events is quite interesting as it seems that American forces, right or wrong, are gradually antagonizing the defense forces of Pakistan. As of today, NATO and Pakistan have at least one exchange of fire in the name of political borders, and I’m wondering if it will be the last.

The recent aggression of US and NATO forces at the Afghan-Pakistan border is not for nothing; terrorist cells and positions must be moving further into Pakistan, where the western nations have no official jurisdiction. Could this recent change in the operational policy of US military field commanders have a relationship to the current state of politics in America? We have a pro-war like President who seems bent on securing American/NATO-occupied lands at all costs (at least ones where American investments are). With the November elections looming, it would seem the perfect time for a horribly unpopular figurehead to relish in his last few months of power.

What do you think?


Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 8:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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