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06 October 2010

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Cato the Censor

Is this the beginning of the end?

Medicine Man

I wonder what possessed the USG to start throwing their weight around in Pakistan? Were they getting irate at Islambad's covert support of the Pakistani-Taliban and decided to "teach them a lesson" with some drone attacks? Its all so divorced from any concept of consequences; I don't get it.

Jackie

CtC,
We can only hope it is.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I think the lesson the Pakistan army is teaching is that neither war nor peace can be successfully conducted in Afghanistan without their involvement.

The army was upset because it has laid down ground rules for US military action in the tribal areas, and the recent helicopter attacks seem to have violated those.

It also appears that, recently, both Karzai and the US were pursuing peace moves without involving the Pakistanis.

J

Colonel,

TRANSCOM maintains that security conditions in Pakistan are not so dire as to require a serious increase of traffic on NDN (Northern Distribution Network, a U.S.-NATO supply line running through Central Asia). However DOD officos say NDN stands ready to handle a surge in traffic, should the Khyber Pass, the critical transit point on the Pakistani-Afghan transport route, remain closed.

DOD has been reducing their reliance on Pakistani ground routes since 05. Roughly 50% of all cargo destined for Afghanistan goes through Pakistan, with 30% going through the NDN, and the remaining 20% by air.

Between March and August of this year, freight traffic on the NDN rose. The NDN's traffic's emphasis is on fuel sourced from Eurasia and delivered via 'northern routes'. Roughly 60% of the fuel consumed in Afghanistan is routed through Central Asia. The NDN is a key component of the International Security Assistance Force’s fuel supply infrastructure. A solicitation issued on June 14, 2010, for jet fuel deliveries to Bagram said supplies 'must be imported from northern and western sources.'

Now to the flip side, if DOD attempts to significantly increase NDN traffic, it'll pose significant logistical problems for them. Contractors involved in NDN shipments already complain of long delays at the Uzbek-Tajik/Tajik-Afghan borders. The Termez-Hairaton rail crossing at the Uzbek-Afghan border is a notorious choke-point: in June, 3,500 fuel tanks languished on the Uzbek side of the border for weeks before passing into Afghanistan.

Also wrought with security concerns, Afghan MPs have have cautioned that northern Afghanistan is awash with militants who are 'arming the local populations'. According to one claim, 80% of Kunduz Province bordering Tajikistan is under Taliban control.

An increased use of the NDN could draw the attention of militants, leading to the same type of attacks on fuel tankers in Central Asia that have been witnessed in Pakistan. Currently, the Taliban lacks the ability to cause a major disruption to NDN’s operations, this according to Moscow's CIS Institute. They are warning that if supplies routes continue to be interrupted in Pakistan, the NDN could develop into a tempting Taliban target. And I agree with them.

b

The deal isn't done yet it seems. A second attack on Wednesday

Taliban attacks destroy more than 40 NATO vehicles

PESHAWAR: More than 40 NATO vehicles were destroyed in two separate Taliban attacks in Pakistan Wednesday as the militants stepped up their efforts to disrupt supply routes into Afghanistan.

In the latest attack at least 26 NATO oil tankers were torched when militants opened fire on a convoy of dozens of vehicles parked in Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan, police said.

Earlier militants attacked a depot housing 40 NATO oil tankers on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta, killing a member of staff and destroying at least 18 vehicles.
...
"We will further intensify attacks with the intensification of US drone strikes on us," Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told media.
...
Some 6,500 lorries are at a standstill, Khyber transport association president Shakirullah Afridi told media by telephone.

And the Pakistani state is administering additional pressure: About 150 Nato trailers detained at Chaman border

CHAMAN: Pakistan Customs has detained 152 trailers and oil tankers at Chaman border carrying fuel and other supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan after detecting some tampering with documents.
Of course a lot of the transport is used for smuggling.

A lot of the paper works is also used to circumvent Pakistan's custom payments by claiming imports to Pakistan being for export to Afghanistan even when they stay in Pakistan. The Pakistani Supreme Court is investigating such cases now. A prefect excuse to further block the logistic lines.

Manners and respect - Washington is lacking both with regards to Pakistan. Thus this lesson.

John Minnerath

How long are we going to let Pakistan yank our chain?
This whole thing with the NATO lines of communication is BS.
We send our military and foreign service brass to grovel at the feet of the same corrupt politicians we've enriched to be repeatedly stabbed in the back.
It's time for a major rethinking of our relationship with Pakistan and just what we think we are accomplishing in Afghanistan.

Byron Raum

John Minnerath,

The final result of continuing in this path is the fanatic hardliner's dream: complete silence throughout the Islamic crescent for 10,000 years, enforced by lethal levels of radioactivity. No pesky Muslims to worry about then. What right do they have to be angry about a few hundred of their kids being killed? There are way too many of them, anyway.

B.R.

Norbert N, Salamon

A blownack for extra-judicial killings by assisins, Reapers, Helicopters, etc in a fragile sovereign country, where the political class is corrupt [by nature] and is further corrupted by the use of USA taxpayers' [borrowed]funds.

Best idea is pack up from Af/Pak and take the saved money to help the Homeland.

DaveGood

John Minnerath....

First off, two American Governments, One Republican, the next, Democratic, has decided to start and continue A war thousands of miles away for reasons no-one can adequately explain.

No-one here believes that and Afghan/Taliban Army is about to invade and over-run the US any time this century.

Second point....

There are a ton of people in Pakistan, in high positions who quite simply don't trust American promises based on past American behaviour.

And that's true across the world.

Let me give you an example, want to know why the fourth mechanised Division was not allowed to off load into turkish ports then attack across Turk/Iraqs borders in the last Gulf war?

It might have something to do with Americas promises of aid and support offered to Turkey if it allowed America to use it's territory in the first Gulf War.

Promises it never kept.

Pakistan doesn't believe America's promises because it's been let down in the past.

We lie to them, so they lie to us.

DaveGood

Patrick Lang

Davegood,

This blog is not a vehicle for you and others to vent your antipathy towards the US. If you have nothing constructive to say, go away! pl

William R. Cumming

PL! Does the Muslim Brotherhood which just formally declared war on the US have any traction in Pakistan? What countries do they threaten that are led by Arabs besides Egypt?

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