A top U.S. military official is urging Pakistan to share a map of its facilities near the Afghan border, to help prevent incidents like last month’s coalition attack that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead.
The head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, said Monday that the main lesson from the incident is that the two sides must improve their border coordination. He said this requires what he called a “foundational level of trust on both sides of the border.”
General Mattis urged Pakistan to fully disclose all border area facilities and installations, and also give updates using a shared database.
The November 26 attack inflamed already damaged relations between the United States and Pakistan.
Last week, the U.S. military issued a report on the incident that blamed inadequate coordination by both Pakistani and U.S.-led forces.
A U.S. Air Force officer who led the investigation, Brigadier General Stephen Clark, said “an overarching lack of trust” between the two countries prevented each side from receiving specific details on troops and combat locations.
A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged that U.S. officers had shared incorrect mapping information with the Pakistanis, leading to a misunderstanding about their location. However, he said U.S. troops responded only after coming under heavy fire, and that there was no intentional effort by U.S. forces to mislead or target the Pakistani military.
The attack prompted Islamabad to order U.S. forces to vacate a Pakistani airbase they were using. It also led Pakistan to indefinitely close the two main overland routes NATO uses to send nonlethal supplies to Afghanistan.