Aftermath of Pakistan's Bomb Blast
Though the smoke has yet to clear, there’s enough light to form some initial conclusions about the explosion in Pakistan that left three US soldiers dead and two wounded.
No, America’s war isn’t new or widening, because it’s already old and wide open; Pakistan’s Frontier Corps (FC) first began training with US military advisers in 2008. And no, the program isn’t conspiratorial or a secret in the literal sense, despite US and Pakistani officials avoiding the subject if they can help it.
Everyone on the ground knew and acted as though the secret was out. Civilian disguises and a five vehicle convoy served as one layer of protection. After the blast the FC leaked that “foreign journalists” were killed, then “foreign NGO workers.” Soon they became USAID workers, then “American military personnel, and finally “US troops.” Marines, possibly from Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
The three unnamed US soldiers are the first to be killed in Pakistan since 2007, when Major Larry J. Bauguess Jr was killed by small-arms fire in Teri Mengel while attempting to negotiate a meeting between Afghan and Pakistani tribesman. And the reaction then is similar to now: America has troops in Pakistan?
As Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) expected, “Most Pakistanis interviewed Wednesday had no idea U.S. soldiers were stationed in the northwest,” reported the AP.
The TTP astutely conceived a media attack first and a military attack second. It knows the political and propaganda implications of breaking this story and US officials in Pakistan have been knocked on their heels. Special envoy Richard Holbrooke, forced to deny that American soldiers were secret or targeted, is feeling the heat. News organizations point out that he’s never mentioned the training program before.Continued on the next page