This could be a very big deal or it could just have been a mistake but the Pakistani army - our erstwhile ally - are very upset over reports a US-led coalition airstrike along the Pakistani-Afghan border killed 11 Pak soldiers:
Since those "Frontier Corps" do little or nothing to stop Taliban infiltration of Afhganistan, the idea that the attack hit "at the very basis of cooperation" in the war on terror is silly. It is a clear signal by the US that the new policy of the Pakistani government of talking peace with the Taliban while turning the other way as they infiltrate Afghanistan is simply not acceptable.
The U.S.-led coalition said it used artillery and aerial drones against attackers who opened fire on forces operating inside Afghanistan. It said coalition forces did not enter Pakistan.
The incident late Tuesday followed a reported clash between Afghan forces and coalition forces and Taliban militants in the same area. The Taliban said eight of its fighters died in the skirmish.
The Pakistani army said the coalition airstrike hit a post of the paramilitary Frontier Corps and was a "completely unprovoked and cowardly act" that "hit at the very basis of cooperation" in the war on terrorism.
It launched a strong protest and reserved "the right to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression," the military said in a statement. The statement said the clash in the Mohmand tribal region "had hit at the very basis of cooperation" between the allies in the war on terror.
Were the Pakistani troops assisting the Taliban? It is not impossible that this was the case. There are factions in the army who would love to see the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan so it is not out of the question that the dead Pak troops were in cahoots with the extremists.
But we will probably apologize for the "mistake" and promise that it will never happen again. Meanwhile, the problems along the border continue to worsen as the Pakistani army is apparently doing even less than before in trying to stop the infiltrators.