On Saturday November 26th Pakistan said that a NATO air strike killed 25 Pakistan soldiers. There is some debate over whether the U.S. fired first or Pakistan did. But one thing is for sure: Pakistan is upset.
Can we blame them? Wouldn’t U.S. officials be upset if an international military was storing weapons and had bases in the U.S. Then mistakenly killed 25 U.S. soldiers patrolling the border?
The New York Times said Pakistan has ordered the Central Intelligence Agency remove itself from the Shamsi Air Base where it stores drones. They have also closed two routes used by NATO to bring supplies to Afghanistan. The majority of supplies to U.S. troops in Afghanistan travels through these two routes.
The same article said that NATO has responded by saying it is going to conduct an investigation into the event and react accordingly. This raises many issues.
Glenn Grenwald raises one on Democracy Now. If Pakistan didn’t fire first then the U.S. made an irreversible mistake. One it might not be able to fix regardless of any effort to repair relations. If Pakistan did fire first, then they have a major conflict with the U.S., which the U.S. is failing to acknowledge.
To make matters worse, why would NATO investigate the air strike? I understand that this is common policy, but it seems…. well…. problematic. If a person hits some one with their car and kills them, then claims it was a mistake, would we trust the driver to conduct the investigation? No, an unbiased group would be chosen to conduct the investigation.
So why is it different in War? Pakistan is not a member of NATO. NATO killed 25 Pakistan soldiers, under unclear circumstances. NATO is doing it’s own investigation and Pakistan is enraged. I don’t see how this will end well for Pakistan, Afghanistan, or the U.S.