Before dawn on May 2, a pair of Blackhawk helicopters carrying two dozen Navy seals left Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and entered Pakistani airspace using stealth technology to evade Pakistan’s radar systems.
Forty minutes after reaching their destination in Abbottabad, Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States, was dead.
When the team reentered Afghanistan’s airspace with bin Laden’s body, the sun had not yet risen, and the Pakistani government was still in the dark about the operation.
Why? In the words of cia director Leon Panetta, It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets.
So the U.S. doesn’t trust Pakistan, and believed Islamabad might help bin Laden escape the attack if it knew about the planned operation.
The U.S.’s decision to raid bin Laden without telling Pakistan exemplifies the deep distrust that already existed between the U.S. and Pakistan, and the nature of the assault is further aggravating the tensions.