This New York Times report on the murder of a US soldier on May 14, 2007 by Pakistani troops in Teri Mangal is an absolute must read if you are interested in understanding the frustration and contempt for Pakistan that exists among those who have been warning of that nation’s duplicity and complicity in the murder of US, NATO, and Afghan troops.
Lest you think that such activity is something that is just being exposed now, go back and look at Pakistan’s Jihad, from December of 2008. This is why many of us have been deeply critical of Admiral Michael Mullen’s optimism over the “partnership approach” to Pakistan and have been dumbfounded by his belief that “Pakistan was serious about plans to take on militant groups,” as described by The Wall Street Journal. We’ve noted time and time again that Pakistan was never serious about reining in its pet terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the constellation of so-called “good Taliban” groups, including the Haqqani Network, and we have said that Admiral Mullen was deluding himself in believing Pakistan would take meaningful action in North Waziristan. The reality is that the overly optimistic statements of Mullen and others actually provided cover for Pakistan to continue its duplicitous behavior; it hasn’t paid a price for supporting these groups, and has had no reason to stop.
But back to the NYT article on the murder of Major Larry J. Bauguess Jr. at Teri Mangal at the hands of his so-called Pakistani hosts. An excerpt is below, do read the whole thing:
The border meeting was called, and a small group of Americans and Afghans — 12 men in total — flew by helicopters to Teri Mangal, just inside Pakistan, to try to resolve the dispute. They included Mr. Rahmat. The Afghans remember the meeting as difficult but ending in agreement. The Pakistanis described it as cordial, said Mahmood Shah, a retired brigadier and a military analyst who has spoken to some of those present at the meeting.
The Americans say the experience was like refereeing children, but after five hours of back and forth the Pakistanis agreed to withdraw from the post, and the Afghans also agreed to abandon it.
Then, just as the American and Afghan officials were climbing into vehicles provided to take them the short distance to a helicopter landing zone, a Pakistani soldier opened fire with an automatic rifle, pumping multiple rounds from just 5 or 10 yards away into an American officer, Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr., killing him almost instantly. An operations officer with the 82nd Airborne Division from North Carolina, Major Bauguess, 36, was married and the father of two girls, ages 4 and 6.
An American soldier immediately shot and killed the attacker, but at the same instant several other Pakistanis opened fire from inside the classrooms, riddling the group and the cars with gunfire, according to the two senior Afghan commanders who were there. Both escaped injury by throwing themselves out of their car onto the ground.
“I saw the American falling and the Americans taking positions and firing,” said Brig. Gen. Muhammad Akram Same, the Afghan Army commander in eastern Afghanistan at the time. “We were not fired on from one side, but from two, probably three sides.”
Col. Sher Ahmed Kuchai, the Afghan border guard commander, was showered with glass as the car windows shattered. “It did not last more than 20 seconds, but this was a moment of life and death,” Colonel Kuchai said.
As he looked around, he said, he saw at least two Pakistanis firing from the open windows of the classrooms and another running across the veranda toward a machine gun mounted on a vehicle before he was brought down by American fire. He also saw a Pakistani shot as he fired from the back seat of a car, he said. The rapid American reaction saved their lives, the two Afghan commanders said.
The senior American and Afghan commanders had been driven out of the compound and well past the helicopter landing zone when a Pakistani post opened fire on them, recalled Mr. Rahmat, the former governor. The Pakistani colonel in the front seat ignored their protests to stop until the American commander drew his pistol and demanded that the car halt. The group had to abandon the cars and run back across fields to reach the helicopters, Mr. Rahmat said.
His account was confirmed by the former United Nations official who talked to the unit’s members on their return that evening.
Those who came under fire that day remain bitter about the duplicity of the Pakistanis. Colonel Kuchai remembers the way the senior Pakistani officers left the yard minutes before the shooting without saying goodbye, behavior that he now interprets as a sign that they knew what was coming.
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