US, NATO under pressure to find alternatives to beleaguered troop supply linesApril 13th, 2009 - 1:32 pm ICT by ANI
Kabul, Apr.13 (ANI): US and NATO officials are reportedly under pressure to find alternatives to their beleaguered supply lines in the wake of Sunday’s pre-dawn attack by militants on a NATO supply depot in Peshawar.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the raid was carried out by scores of Pakistani Taliban guerrillas.
The guerrillas have torched more than 500 vehicles in the last year. Some 70 percent of Western supplies come through the militant-infested western Pakistan. To add to US and NATO difficulties, another major supply route via a base in Kyrgyzstan, is to close.
“This is strategically vital. For the Americans to win this war, it’s important to find another route,” the CSM quoted Waliullah Rahmani, a policy analyst with the Kabul Centre for Strategic Studies, as saying.
US officials are actively seeking such routes. A series of recently inked agreements allow the movement of non-lethal materiel through the former Soviet Central Asian States.
The CSM recently reported on US efforts to open a supply route through Uzbekistan. Officials are also considering other, even more complicated routes that pass through the caucuses.
But the alternatives come with difficulties of their own. The new “northern route” utilizes a complex rail network through many different countries, taking longer and costing more than the Pakistani route. And American overtures to the former Soviet states, in what is widely considered Russia’s sphere of influence, might spark tensions between Washington and Moscow.
Still, Moscow fears the growing strength of Islamic militants on its flank, and may be willing to work with the US. (ANI)
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