Small Wars Journal

Release of Pakistan/Afghanistan Cross-Border Fire Investigation Report

Release of Pakistan/Afghanistan Cross-Border Fire Investigation Report
By CENTCOM Public Affairs

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (December 26, 2011) — The U.S. Central Command investigation into the Nov. 25-26 engagement between U.S. and Pakistan Military Forces near Salala Checkpoint, Khas Kunar Province, Afghanistan is complete. The report can be found by clicking here. The Table of Contents can be found by clicking here. Click here for Annexes: A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J. Click here for Brig. Gen. Clark's Appointment Letter.

Specifically, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander directed ISAF Commander Gen. John Allen to implement the following corrective actions as soon as operationally possible:

1. Establish an environment of improved, mutual trust among stakeholders working in the border areas expanding upon existing confidence-building measures.

2. Clarify authorities, responsibilities, and standard operating procedures for Command, Control and Communication in near-border operations. Develop formal individual training, collective training exercises and drills to practice and gain confidence with cross-border coordination and deconfliction.

3. Implement a program of full disclosure of all border area facilities and installations – including installations on both sides of the border with systematic updates based on a common data base and map, and incorporating periodic reciprocal coordination visits.

4. Direct all future Coalition units and formations contemplating near-border area operations to establish positive confirmation of all permanent/semi-permanent installations located near both the border and planned objective prior to the conduct of any operation or approval of any CONOP.

5. Develop and share with Pakistan Military if possible the common use of force escalation measures such as show of force and such other standard procedures as needed to prevent friendly fire incidents.Consider harmonizing, where feasible, ISAF and OEF Rules of Engagement to promote clarity and transparency.

“The strongest take-away from this incident is the fundamental fact that we must improve border coordination and this requires a foundational level of trust on both sides of the border,” said Gen. Mattis.