Communication Failures Led to Incident on Afghan-Pakistani Border

US forces “acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon,” during an engagement between US and Pakistani troops on Nov. 25-26 on the Afghan-Pakistani border, announced the Defense Department. However, “inadequate coordination” between the two governments, incorrect mapping information, and other communication failures contributed to the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers, Brig. Gen. Stephen Clark, who led the investigation into the incident, told reporters. Pentagon spokesman George Little expressed the Defense Department’s “deepest regret” for the loss of those lives. Investigators conducted more than 60 interviews in an effort to unravel what Clark called a very “complicated situation.” Members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, US Central Command, and senior Afghanistan leadership participated. However, “we did not benefit from Pakistani participation,” noted Clark during his Dec. 22 teleconference. “That’s a significant element that’s missing because there are always two sides to a particular event.” (Clark-Little transcript)