US Turns to Other Routes to Supply Afghan War as Relations With Pakistan Fray

The US has been increasingly reducing its reliance on Pakistan for entering landlocked Afghanistan and turning to alternative routes for supplying NATO forces. “[S]hifting supply lines elsewhere would substantially increase the cost of the war and make the United States more dependent on authoritarian countries in Central Asia,” reports Craig Whitlock for the Washington Post. “With landlocked Afghanistan lacking seaports, and hostile Iran blocking access from the west, Pentagon logisticians have limited alternatives.” While Pakistan has not threatened closure, the shift in routes reflects deteriorating US-Pakistani relations: In 2009, about 90 percent of surface cargo passed through Pakistan; about half that has since been diverted through other countries to the north including Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Ammunition or weapons are prohibited; shipping by air costs 10 times more than using roads through Pakistan. For the US, the new routes through multiple nations present new complications in logistics, diplomacy and its human rights objectives. – YaleGlobal

US Turns to Other Routes to Supply Afghan War as Relations With Pakistan Fray

Detours for supply of NATO troops reflect deteriorating US-Pakistani relations, present complications in logistics and human rights
Craig Whitlock
Monday, July 4, 2011
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