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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wrong information of US

wrong us
Pakistan on Friday said U.S. officials preparing to launch an attack near its border with Afghanistan had given the wrong information to Pakistani officials about where they intended to conduct an airstrike, leading to a hit on two border posts that killed 24 members of the Pakistani military.

U.S. officials in Washington on Thursday said that Pakistani officials at a border control center had given an all-clear. U.S. officials believe the correct coordinates were given to the Pakistanis, but said it's one of the issues investigators are looking at in the aftermath of the attack. Military officials in Washington also said Friday that Pakistan had decided for now not to participate in the U.S. investigation of the episode, which has further inflamed tensions between the sides over the 10-year Afghanistan conflict's worst friendly-fire incident. U.S. officials have called the Pakistani deaths a tragedy.

Pakistan, in protest of the attacks, halted the flow of NATO supplies across its border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. and its NATO allies could start running low on supplies for troops in Afghanistan in as little as 60 days if Pakistan keeps the border closed, according to officials briefed on the Pentagon's contingency planning. A monthslong border closure potentially could force NATO to slow the pace of military operations to conserve supplies, the officials said, though the Pentagon voiced confidence Friday that alternative ways would be found to bring in what troops need.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said border closures have yet to have an "appreciable" impact on NATO operations in Afghanistan but that any shutdown "magnifies over time."

He said Marine Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has started making an assessment of available supplies to figure out what he needs.

According to officials, the Pentagon sharply expanded stocks of ammunition and other military supplies inside Afghanistan after a 2010 cross-border raid prompted Pakistan to close the border for 10 days.

U.S. officials said they were concerned that border closures this time could last several weeks, if not longer.

"This is going to be a really painful one," said a senior defense official. "I wouldn't count on them opening the border anytime soon. The Pakistanis are really, really mad."

"The strategic effects of this are going to be long term," the official added.

NATO's main alternative to shipping through Pakistan is the so-called Northern Distribution Network, a system of rail, sea and truck routes that begin at Baltic and Black Sea ports and extend to Afghanistan through Central Asia. Officials said the military is drawing up contingency plans to temporarily expand the amount of cargo entering Afghanistan through that network to meet up to 75% of NATO's immediate resupply needs. The network, however, has its limits, since it was set up to only carry nonlethal supplies.

Officials said the biggest concern for NATO was a potential shortage of fuel if the border stays closed for long. NATO relies heavily on land routes through Pakistan to bring in much of the fuel Western forces use. "If two months go by we are talking megacrisis," said one official.

If Pakistan keeps the border closed for more than two months, officials said, the military might need to start reducing the pace of military operations in order to stretch out the supplies that it has, officials briefed on Pentagon planning said.

The official predicted that the Obama administration will not wait more than a month to begin to step up pressure on the Pakistani to open the border. The U.S. could threaten to withhold aid or exert other pressure on the government to begin to allow at least some critical supplies through.


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