News / Asia

US, Pakistan Discuss Border Incident 'Communications Breakdown'

A Pakistani officer in Peshawar arranges recovered equipment that has been stolen in recent months from NATO forces fighting in neighboring Afghanistan, 27 Sep 2010
A Pakistani officer in Peshawar arranges recovered equipment that has been stolen in recent months from NATO forces fighting in neighboring Afghanistan, 27 Sep 2010

The Pentagon says U.S. and Pakistani military officials are discussing two incidents last week in which American helicopters crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan to fire at militants - incursions Pakistani officials have strongly protested.

A spokesman, Colonel David Lapan, said that in rare instances when U.S. forces feel they must cross into Pakistan to protect themselves from insurgent attacks, they normally contact Pakistani authorities before or during the incident.  He acknowledges, though, that did not happen in the incidents last Friday and Saturday.

"I think I can say that clearly that in these instances things did not occur the way that they are supposed to," said Colonel Lapan.  "They attempted to contact the Pakistanis at the time of the incident, and were unable to, and then ended up contacting them after the incident and letting them know.  And so one of the things they are looking into is, 'How did the communications break down?'"

Colonel Lapan could not say why it was not possible to reach Pakistani officials as the incidents were unfolding.  He declined to discuss whether there is an agreement for "hot pursuit" of militants fleeing across the border, which Pakistan says there is not.

But the Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. forces were operating within their "rules of engagement" because they acted in self defense, responding to firing from militants inside Pakistan, who were attacking a NATO outpost and who also fired at the helicopters.

"I do not know that I would call it a disagreement," said Lapan.  "But there are certainly discussions underway between our forces and the Pakistanis about this particular incident.  Again, what were the communications breakdowns?  What happened?  What was supposed to happen?"

Colonel Lapan said it is not unusual for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan to fire at militants across the border in Pakistan.  And, although officials will not confirm it, the Central Intelligence Agency reportedly conducts extensive attacks on militants based in Pakistani border areas using unmanned aircraft.  

The New York Times reported Tuesday that such attacks have increased sharply this month.  Officials say, however, it is rare for U.S. forces to actually cross the border themselves.  In this case, Lapan said it was only helicopters that crossed over briefly, and no American or other foreign ground troops were involved.

But Pakistan said the incidents infringe on its sovereignty and violate the U.N. authorization for the foreign forces in Afghanistan.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More