The Border War Escalates

by Joshua Foust on 7/19/2011 · 2 comments

Well, this isn’t good:

Islamabad (dap) – At least three Pakistani soldiers were killed and four injured Tuesday when a mortar fired from Afghanistan hit their outpost in the north-western tribal area, security officials said.

The incident occurred in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan, one of seven districts where thousands of troops have been deployed since military operations against the militants began in October 2009.

A security official said that at least six mortars were fired from across the border and one of them hit a post of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), which is responsible for monitoring the cross-border movement of militants.

South Waziristan would put the mortars in either southeast Khost or northeast Paktika—in relative terms an unguarded, lightly monitored area (compared to Torkham, Chaman, or even North Waziristan). Militants also attacked another Pakistani army post in Kurram, just to the north.

While Hamid Karzai has been adamant that Afghan forces are not to return fire when Pakistan attacks Afghan territory, there was widespread concern that the Army would not pay attention to the restriction and would shoot back. If this becomes routine—if Afghanistan starts responding in kind to Pakistani attacks on its territory, then we could very easily see a full-scale war.

At this point, it seems only a matter of time before Pakistan launches an incursion into Afghan territory with ground troops. If and when that happens, we will see catastrophe.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Grant July 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

If that does happen it’ll make the politics much more interesting and dangerous. I wonder who will blame who for this.

Osman July 26, 2011 at 4:32 am

Just a legacy of British divide and conquer politics. Pakistan being the perfect proxy, whether it knows it or not.

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