In unusually frank comments, former US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, who resigned last year, blasted the administration’s “callousness” toward Pakistan, particularly as it related to the November 2011 US attack on a Pakistani military base, which killed 24 troops.
Munter said it was ridiculous that it took the administration over seven months to get around to a sort of apology for the killings, adding that it “cost our country literally billions of dollars” from the closure of the Pakistan supply route.
The damage went beyond the financial hit, however, as Munter noted the ambivalent attitude toward the killings from officials had done huge damage to public perceptions, noting that “it’s very hard for many people, especially those who want a relationship with us, to defend us to their peers.”
The killings were a political issue in the US as well, and many Republican candidates in the presidential primary condemned the idea of apologizing, saying Pakistan didn’t deserve such an apology. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta insisted that the US would “never” apologize in June, though an apology of sorts was eventually offered by General Allen the following month.