Because we've been in a low-grade one, it appears, for years. Now that Adm. Mike Mullen has publicly accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of helping attack the U.S. embassy in Kabul, stories of heretofore secret Pakistani malfeasance are starting to leak out. It's almost like someone wants to start a war or something.
Today's escalation comes from the New York Times, which reports that a 2007 ambush on American and Afghan soldiers in a Pakistani border town that killed an American officer and wounded three others was a "complex, calculated assault" orchestrated by the Pakistani military. The incident, which occurred after the Americans and Afghans had met with a Pakistan delegation to discuss a border issue, had always been something of a mystery: It was reported at the time as having been carried out by "unknown assailants" believed to be militants, and subsequent investigations conducted by the American and Pakistani military remain classified. The reason for the mystery is that no one wanted to deal with the fact that Pakistani soldiers straight-up killed an American in retaliation for accidental Pakistani casualties of American operations:
At first, the meeting to resolve the border dispute seemed a success. Despite some tense moments, the delegations ate lunch together, exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet again. Then, as the Americans and Afghans prepared to leave, the Pakistanis opened fire without warning. The assault involved multiple gunmen, Pakistani intelligence agents and military officers, and an attempt to kidnap or draw away the senior American and Afghan officials.
American officials familiar with Pakistan say that the attack fit a pattern. The Pakistanis often seemed to retaliate for losses they had suffered in an accidental attack by United States forces with a deliberate assault on American troops, most probably to maintain morale among their own troops or to make a point to the Americans that they could not be pushed around, said a former American military officer who served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
That year, for the record, we delivered somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan. To help them out with their periodic "deliberate assaults on American troops."
[Photo via Getty Images]