Michael's Dispatches

Department of Defense Statement Regarding Investigation Results into Pakistan Cross-Border Incident


12/22/2011 03:20 AM CST


December 22, 2011

                 The investigation into the 25-26 November engagement between U.S. and Pakistani military forces across the border has been completed.  The findings and conclusions were forwarded to the Department through the chain of command.  The results have also been shared with the Pakistani and Afghan governments, as well as key NATO leadership.

                The investigating officer found that U.S. forces, given what information they had available to them at the time, acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon.  He also found that there was no intentional effort to target persons or places known to be part of the Pakistani military, or to deliberately provide inaccurate location information to Pakistani officials.  

                Nevertheless, inadequate coordination by U.S. and Pakistani military officers operating through the border coordination center -- including our reliance on incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer -- resulted in a misunderstanding about the true location of Pakistani military units.  This, coupled with other gaps in information about the activities and placement of units from both sides, contributed to the tragic result.

                For the loss of life -- and for the lack of proper coordination between U.S. and Pakistani forces that contributed to those losses -- we express our deepest regret.  We further express sincere condolences to the Pakistani people, to the Pakistani government, and most importantly to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who were killed or wounded.

                Our focus now is to learn from these mistakes and take whatever corrective measures are required to ensure an incident like this is not repeated.  The chain of command will consider any issues of accountability.  More critically, we must work to improve the level of trust between our two countries.  We cannot operate effectively on the border -- or in other parts of our relationship -- without addressing the fundamental trust still lacking between us.  We earnestly hope the Pakistani military will join us in bridging that gap.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web: http://www.defense.gov/releases/
Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public Contact: http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx or             +1 (703) 428-0711

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    matt · 8 years ago
    I am wondering if this is simply the U.S. kowtowing to Pakistan so they let our convoys through again. It wouldn't surprise me at all.

    I know from friends in Paktika and Khost that American troops have take fire from the Pakistan side on repeated occasions.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tim Spaulding · 8 years ago
    For God's sake, the entire planet has been mapped down to the nearest gopher hole, and there were "mapping errors"?? Did the US military ever hear of something called "GPS"? I know they invented it, but have they HEARD of it.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      David Weirich · 8 years ago

      Have you ever considered that the Pakistanis aren't exactly forthcoming with intel and the location of their troops. GPS is good, but it still requires input by humans to designate where the bombs need to go. Stuff happens in war. All we can do is learn from our mistakes.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rancher · 8 years ago
    We are at war with half of Pakistan. We are at war with Iran. Yet we seem to ignore those two facts.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Charlie · 8 years ago
    If your read the Statement carefully, it said the Pakistani LO was the cause. "reliance on incorrect mapping information shared with {should read--from}the Pakistani liaison officer."
    DOD doing a little double-talk there.

    10 oto 1 it was a setup.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank · 8 years ago
    This statement may seem simple minded. Enought of this BS! This country has spent trillions of dollars on foreign aide to every country in the world. We have loss many Americans on the War on Terror and the War on Communism. These countries still at the end of the day hate us. I think its about time the people of the USA pull their head out and take our money back and fight from our homeland. This country would be richer and happier. You never win religous wars and staythe hell out of other countries business unless its a direct threat. We are the Suckers here!Screw the Paks!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    pacific_waters · 8 years ago
    This is nothing more than a little kowtowing to appease the Pakies. They can never admit they screwed up so we have to grovel.

    "including our reliance on incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer "

    That still sounds like it was our information that was wrong so it lets the pakies off the hook.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    R Daneel · 8 years ago
    We need to abandon these savages to their own devices. However, as we leave make it clear that if any resurgent Taliban or al Qaeda attacks are sourced from either country an artificial sun will bloom above the offending capital.

    Punitive war needs a comeback.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom · 8 years ago
    Lack of trust and errors on both sides caused this. Who was more at fault I do not know but I do know S___ happens in war.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John-Capt in ANG · 8 years ago
    First, you have to understand how LNO's and RC's work for this explanation to make sense. There is no process where a soldier reads a GPS set, and then gets on the radio to a Paki center, so the "We've had GPS.. blah blah," isn't relevent. Next, it's not cowtowing (SP?) and the verbage does not mean a set up. What he's saying is that the US person misread the grids (likely at the RC) and gave the wrong grids to the LNO for Paki (which is who Paki LNO would be), who was also saying they had no one in the area. Both sides made a mistake in this situation.

    I've watched the video showing them firing, and their subsequent encounter with an AC-130. The explanation makes perfect sense from what I know about our ops, and insurgents standard actions/responses. E.g. The Paki's seemed oblivous to the UAV directly over their head. AQ/Talibs, shooting at US/NATO, know what a whirring noise overhead means is coming next and don't ignore it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John-Capt in ANG · 8 years ago
    When troops are in battle, they upchannel when they can. The reports are then forwarded, and then sent up to the Regional Command. RC's use Geo tools which overlay Blue Force Tracker, etc, over a map. So likely, an LNO/Watchkeeper (or Battle Captain), pulled up BFT on CPOF (I'm assuming since it's East, and US, they're using the US Command Post of the Future, rather than the NATO iGeoSIT tool everyone else is using), saw a US force squacking a position next to a line, which he mistakenly thought was the border, but instead he's seeing another unit near a road. In his mind, he sees what looks to be correct: troops next to the border, and THIS is the coordinate he sends to the Paki.

    I'm not part of or privy to the specifics, but from a 3* HQ perspective of how Battle Drills are ran and how I've seen 2* HQs run them, their explanation fits with what I can see as a reasonable mistake maken in the heat of battle. Time is of the essence so TTPs, SOPs, etc will be adapted.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Smith · 8 years ago
    We need to charge for our involvement in these "Wars for Oil" most of the Islamic nations are laughing all the way to the bank! The reason we are involved in these wars (for the most part) is because of our unwillingness to do something about the oil problems in t he 70's.

    We need there oil and will so for a long time. We must become oil independent before we can leave the Middle East. Israel, now that is another topic all its own. :-|
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John - Capt in ANG · 8 years ago
    I've been to every region in Afghanistan. Please tell me where this oil is? Doesn't it seem odd you have never seen a petroleum processing plant, or non-military gas shipments on the news about Afghanistan?

    And before you say it, Afghanistan is NOT the Middle East. This does not have anything to do with oil foreign policies set in play by Pres Carter. My Econ professor was right, no one can recall a damn thing with clarity beyone 7 years. Steve, take a trip to New York. Ask the tour guide to take you to a place called "The Twin Towers." Bring a camera so you can take pics and maybe still recall the trip in 2019.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tchirpbrd · 8 years ago
    BSW's [ bullshitwars ]
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ted Thomas · 8 years ago

    I appreciate your hatred. Non-conventional wars are long, bloody and discouraging. Obviously, you question whether this one is worth it.

    The Iranians think it is. By pushing us back through their proxies, they hope to get breathing room to do this:

    1. Secretly outfit a freighter or container ship with a short-range ballistic missle tipped with a nuclear EMP.
    2. Launch it at the moment of their choosing and cripple all the electronics and power in the eastern 1/2 of the U.S.
    3. Hunker down while we evaporate Iran, and are then forced by world opinion to back off and give Muslim jihadists the world over the free rein they have lusted after for generations.

    Please study up on what it is like for infidels under shariah law... if enough people agree with you, it may be in our future.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gismofly · 8 years ago
    The moral is that the Pakistani military have to join the club. I think they want to but I have no doubt that the political chameleons that pull the strings are the cause of all cock-ups.

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