Back in November, an aerial attack on Taliban forces – which have a funny habit of appearing on the wrong side of the Pakistani border – killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan angrily kicked out U.S. forces, and set about “reviewing the nature of its relationship with the U.S,” as a Fox News report puts it. They even snubbed President Obama’s special envoy when he made a request to visit Pakistan this week.
We’re still waiting for their full list of demands, but they’ve announced three conditions for graciously allowing American forces back onto their Taliban-infested soil: no covert military operations, no unauthorized incursions into their airspace, and absolutely no drone aircraft, ever again.
Presumably we would no longer be allowed to send stealth super-choppers full of Navy SEALs to take out al-Qaeda masterminds who just happen to be living in the middle of major Pakistani cities after retiring from their careers of killing thousands of innocent Americans. The Pakistani military is still “reeling” since the last time that happened.
Interestingly, the Pakistani official who talked to Fox News said his government is worried that the U.S. presidential campaign might interfere with their ability to re-negotiate a relationship with Washington, unless they move quickly… but they actually prefer dealing with Republican administrations, because the Democrats “do not know how to deal with us, which makes it difficult to deal with America.” They do, however, think highly of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
As for the incident in which those 24 Pakistani troops got killed, the U.S. military and NATO conducted an investigation, in which Pakistan refused to participate. The initial results, released in late December, cited both sides for a failure of communications, but found that U.S. troops came under fire from the direction of two new Pakistani army posts they didn’t even know existed, and reacted “with appropriate force.” We apparently still don’t know exactly who was shooting at them, or why.
These “army posts,” by the way, are little piles of rock covered with tarp and sticks, as you can see in this CBS News photo:
Pakistan rejected the report, says its troops made no mistakes, and described the U.S. air assault as a “deliberate act of aggression.”
America gives Pakistan $2 billion per year in foreign aid. If they’re going to throw conditions at us, it seems only fair to reduce the payoff accordingly. Or tell them all future American taxpayer cash will be delivered by drone aircraft. Or pay them entirely in the form of a bounty on dead Taliban. We’ll pay extra if they haven’t been peed on.