Faced with an embarrassing collection of WikiLeaks cables released by Dawn, Pakistan’s military today issued an official denial of the information contained within one of the most damning cables. They insists no US special forces were deployed anywhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Yet diplomatic cables from summer of 2009 clearly contradict this, with former US Ambassador Anne Patterson reporting on the successful embeds to the State Department. As of May 2009, they were not allowed on deployments, but only to help in coordination.
But this soon changed, as later cables show that by September, the US was embedding across the Frontier Corps, including at their headquarters, and had also set up operations in Balochistan. Other cables showed US troops providing “assistance” in the Malakand invasion of early 2009, but did not specify how deeply this went.
Still, the revelations that Pakistan’s military has been allowing growing integration with the US military for years is untimely for them, as Pakistan’s armed forces are still reeling from a number of recent failures. The denial is predictable, though as with many official denials in recent months, will likely not change much in the face of strong evidence to the contrary.