There is an old saying about how the truth always likes to come out:
Afghan officials say NATO and Afghan forces patrolling near the Pakistan border came under fire before they called in the NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Saturday.
Sunday’s account by unnamed officials contradicts Islamabad’s claims that the attack on two Pakistani army bases was unprovoked.
NATO and U.S. officials responded quickly to try to minimize the diplomatic repercussions of the attack. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday promised a full investigation into the “tragic, unintended” deaths.
Pakistani forces have been accused of harboring Taliban forces, and even of launching attacks on U.S. forces themselves. The Pakistani outpost was not hit with a single aircraft, but an overwhelming attack using rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. It suggests to me that the air strikes were a message to the Pakistanis that we’ve tired of playing these games, that we’ll simply annihilate the Pakistani military forces when they target our forces.
There is still a chance that the strikes were an accident instead of a message, but I find it increasingly hard to accept that as the most probable explanation.