Pakistan, US discuss cross-border NATO strike: Pentagon

The Pentagon on Tuesday said recent cross-border air strikes by NATO helicopters in Pakistan may have violated procedures and resulted from “communication breakdowns.”

Pakistan on Monday denounced last week’s helicopter strikes as flouting the country’s sovereignty but the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in neighboring Afghanistan insisted its troops had the right to defend themselves.

“I don’t know that I’d call it a disagreement but there are certainly discussions under way between our forces and the Pakistanis about this particular incident,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.

The talks were focused on “what were the communication breakdowns, what happened, what was supposed to happen,” Lapan said.

ISAF forces were not able to notify Pakistani officers about the helicopter strikes until after the operation, he said.

“I think I can say that clearly in these instances things didn’t occur in the way that they’re supposed to. And that’s what we’re trying to get to,” Lapan said.