Continued Logistical Problems for NATO Through Pakistan

BY Herschel Smith
9 years ago

From The New York Times:

Armed militants attacked and set fire to at least 20 parked tanker trucks carrying fuel for NATO and American troops in Afghanistan on Monday, the police said. It was the third such strike in Pakistan  since Friday.

The attack, not far from the capital, Islamabad, took place on a supply line that has been stalled because of a temporary border closing imposed by the Pakistani authorities to protest a NATO helicopter attack that killed three Pakistani soldiers last week.

The border closing has exacerbated tensions between the United States and Pakistan but has been welcomed by Islamist groups opposed to Pakistan’s support of the American-led war in Afghanistan.

Umer Hayat, a police officer, said three people were killed in the latest burning of fuel trucks, for which he blamed terrorists.

The attackers opened fire on trucks parked at a poorly guarded terminal before setting them afire, he and other officers said.

The trucks were waiting to travel to the Torkham border crossing along the Khyber Pass, used to transport fuel, military vehicles, spare parts, clothing and other nonlethal supplies for foreign troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s other main route into landlocked Afghanistan, in Chaman in the southwest, has remained open.

While NATO and the United States have alternative supply routes into Afghanistan, the Pakistani ones are the cheapest and most convenient. Most of the nonlethal supplies headed to the American-led war effort are transported over Pakistani soil from the port of Karachi in the south.

On Friday, a day after the closing of the Khyber Pass route to NATO and American traffic, there were two attacks on oil tankers headed to Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for at least one of them and vowed to attack again.

It seems to me on deep reflection that I recommended that we engage the Caucasus region 1.5 years ago for purposes of logistics as well as other reasons.  Yes, I think I did.

You would think something as important as logistics in a land-locked country had been addressed and analyzed before.  Yes, I’m sure it has.  I very sure.  I’m very, very sure.  I’m certain it has.  I’m very certain.  I’m VERY, VERY CERTAIN.  It’s just that the idiots at the White House won’t listen to the Milbloggers.

And we discussed this again eight months ago, saying that it still wasn’t too late to do the right thing.  So I am still certain that I have addressed this issue, and I am still waiting for us to do the right thing.

So how is that alternate logistics route through the Caucasus region going?  You know, the one that avoids Pakistan, engages Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, and flips the double barreled middle finger at Russia?

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Comments

  1. On October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am, Warbucks said:

    I’m open to be convinced that we must plow through the Caucasus as the only road to victory. My intuition remains that it is not politically workable in the slightest, for this President to apply such bold action even as he attempts to transition to a new image before the most important US November elections.

    Two bits of information that seem to warrant evaluation are: (a) a second truck route:……. “The convoy of tankers attacked on Friday is believed to have been heading to a second crossing in the southwest of the country which was still open. It is not yet clear if the vehicles had been diverted because of the border closure.”……. (b) “Key NATO Supply Route To Reopen Soon”

    The complexity of subtle and not so subtle signals that must be diplomatically arranged would otherwise require a doubling of the manpower-surge posture to secure the hard way.

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You are currently reading "Continued Logistical Problems for NATO Through Pakistan", entry #5565 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Logistics and was published October 3rd, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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