U.S. Threatening Pakistani Sovereignty?


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5-Year Member
May 20, 2007

Pakistani troops have fired warning shots at two US helicopters forcing them back into Afghanistan, local Pakistani intelligence officials say.

The helicopters flew into the tribal North Waziristan region from Afghanistan's Khost province at around midnight, the reports say.

Tensions have risen after an increase in US attacks targeting militants.

The incident comes amid mounting security fears after a militant bomb attack on the Islamabad Marriott hotel.

Pakistan's army has said it will defend the country's sovereignty and reserves the right to retaliate to any border violations.

My question: where does the idea of following "terrorists" wherever they may run go too far? Should we ignore the sovereignty of another country in the pursuit of militants?
Definitely a touchy subject, and frought with risks that extend beyond just a few whackjobs cowering in a cave.

I think a lot depends on whether the country being "violated" is in any way sheltering the people we are after?

If the answer is "yes", then in my book all bets are off and you take out whoever you have to from that country to achieve the mission.

If the answer is a legitimate "no", and they are actively chasing the bad guys too but, for whatever reason, don't want our troops there, then I guess we simply have to rely on the ally.

Pakistan, however, definitely doesn't fall under the legitimate "no" category. Whether they fall under the other category is something that people with a lot better intel than I have know the answer to, and I hope they are acting accordingly.

My entirely personal opinion is that if Pakistan wants to join the ****list of nations who harbor terrorists, then they shouldn't be surprised when bad things happen to them. The rub, of course, is that they sit astride the only paths into Asghanistan that we can easily access from the Indian Ocean.

Tough call all around. I just hope our troops continue to crush the enemy wherever they find him, and come home safe.
It's a geography issue as well. Real tough to see if your in Afghanistan or Pakistan based on terrain. Remember, there is no clearly marked border there (such as say, the DMZ in Korea). One bush on a rocky hillside looks like any other bush on a rocky hillside (especially in that part of the world).
Of course, GPS systems help out the situation, but if your pursuing someone or investigating something visually, even at the relatively slow speeds and low altitudes of a copter, you may stray off course a little. These guys were only a mile into Pakistani airspace. It won't surprise me to see a buffer zone established farther back from the border, with increased levels of permission required to pursue across it.
Bullet beat me to it. Good thing, too. He's probably way more knowledgeable than me. But it is very difficult to tell in some regions.

As for the terrorist part, we know that there are terrorists there. Hell, Osama bin Laden is probably there. Invading a country with nuclear weapons doesn't seem like a good idea to me, but I don't know. That's for the politicians to decide. I think the the Pakistani government should be more lenient towards us crossing a few miles over the border. But would we say the same about Canada? We wouldn't want Canada or Mexico a few miles into our country. It's a very touchy subject.
We discussed this topic in my ethics class today. I actually included the topic in my 7 page paper today on the transition from Westphalian sovereignty to modern day views. If you want some background to help you understand the historical roots of international law and the developing humanitarian international law, here's some stuff to look up.

Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UN Resolution 260 (III) A on 9 Dec 1948)
I have been convinced for years that OBL is dead and gone. The CIA trots out a video everyonce in a while to make all the Taliban/Al Q types act up so we can smack them down again, and they never quite get the martyr their looking for. As his memory fades someone new will rise up claiming to be his successor.

I only say this having known (albiet casually) some of the types that were hunting him in the opening days of the Afgahnistan operations. I sure wouldn't want them chasing after my tired old butt. It is surely a lot easier to hide me then some 6 foot + Saudi.

The United States military says US and Afghan forces have exchanged gunfire with Pakistani troops across the border with Afghanistan.

The plot thickens! It seems tensions between the two countries are beginning to escalate, however slightly. Kind of interesting that we would start to tick off what I see as a pretty strategic "ally" in that region.
Makes you wonder what India would do if Pakistan got too uppity.... :eek:
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail. It may be time to put up that bigger buffer zone I talked about a few posts ago. As much as it pains me to say it, I'd rather let a few terrorist low-lives prance all they want along a border if it prevents the US from having to engage a nuclear-armed ally.

I've personnally seen our leadership, to include those in the military, do some pretty stupid things during the past 7 year conflict; I ca only hope pushing us into a larger regional conflict won't be another example...
I'm with you Bullet, but I am also afraid this will not end until one of these third world armpits detonates one of those nukes. It is like giving a kid with ADD a slurpee and telling them to sit down and be quiet.
I hear you, Zaphod. And I concur; asking for patience and understanding from that region is like asking your children for patience and understanding at the start of the 14-hour car ride to Disneyworld ("One more whine about when are we going to get there, and gosh-help-me, I'm pulling this car over and turning around!")

Unfortunately, the persons usually most directly impacted by the less-than-cool craniums of the world are the American boots on the ground and guys in the air. Every time one idiot over there gets "uppity" usually means another great American servicemam (or woman) somewhere will pay the ultimate sacrifice having to deal with the consequences.

I know; it's what we signed up for, and it's what we do willing, with a sharp salute. But it doesn't mean this Mongo likes being Pawn in Game of Politics (or now, since my DS is working towards one day soon wearing the uniform, I don't want to see him have to deal with what we dealt with all those times). Washington may rattle the sabres, but we are the ones (or in my case "were"), who have to draw swords and actually duel...