The border-control center is manned by U.S., Afghan and Pakistani representatives who are supposed to share information and head off conflicts. But the U.S. and Afghan forces conducting the Nov. 26 commando operation hadn’t notified the center in advance that they planned to strike Taliban insurgents near that part of the border, the official said.

When called, the Pakistani representatives at the center said there were no Pakistani military forces in the area identified by the commandos, clearing the way for the Americans to conduct the airstrikes, the U.S. officials said…

But U.S. officials have in the past expressed reservations about notifying the Pakistanis about operations, concerned the missions’ details could leak out…

U.S. officials countered that the Pakistani positions were more like makeshift campsites than established military bases. A U.S. official said that because the Taliban and Pakistani military use some of the same weaponry, it was difficult to tell who was firing at the assault force.

“There was absolutely no malicious, deliberate attack on the Pakistani military posts,” a U.S. defense official said.