A internal investigation found that the U.S. shares blame for an errant NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistanis, so why won't Obama say we're sorry?
Protesters in Peshawar burn images of Obama and the American flag in a demonstration against U.S. strikes in Pakistan / Reuters
The Obama administration is actively considering issuing an apology or at least an expression of contrition to Pakistan over the errant NATO strikes that killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers last fall, even though nearly two months have passed since the completion of an official Pentagon investigation that partially blamed mistakes made by U.S. forces for the incident, U.S. officials said.
The State Department has resurrected the idea after repudiating the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, early on when he pressed for an immediate apology following the incident last November. A Pentagon official, asked about the possibility of a statement of apology or contrition last month, at first said he was unaware there was any discussion going on, then a few days later acknowledged that it was. Now the White House is mulling the language and timing of such a statement, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
U.S. officials are waiting, in part, on a Pakistani parliamentary committee report on the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations. And they are hoping for some conciliatory language from Islamabad because, as one U.S. official said, it would make issuing a U.S. statement easier "if the Pakistanis accepted some responsibility" for the NATO incident, which involved miscommunications and poor coordination on both sides, according to the U.S. military inquiry report.