Sunday, October 3, 2010

Af-Pak: Good News from the Front(s)

Only 35% of International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) logistics for this occupation or war are dependent on Pakistan.

Suspected militants in southern Pakistan set ablaze more than two dozen tankers carrying fuel for foreign troops in Afghanistan on Friday, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing.

And on the same day, another supply route to Afghanistan was closed by the Pakistani government after fighting that led to the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers.

The story behind this was that Pakistani soldiers manning a post fired upon American helicopters. Fire was returned and obliterated the outpost.

But the really good news is that only about half the cargo that flows into Afghanistan comes in via one of the two gates from Pakistan. Another 30 percent uses two major routes through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, one via Russia and the other via the Caucasus. The remaining 20 percent -- mostly sensitive items like weapons, ammunition and other critical equipment -- comes in by air.



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  2. Schwarzkopf said back during the First Persian Gulf War that anyone can learn tactics like Alexander and Hannibal, but it takes someone really smart to coordinate logistics. What he meant by that in this case if the soldiers and Marines ain't got bullets and, even more importantly, hot food they are screwed.

    Brainaics at all the war colleges write long and complicated book length reports on how to get bullets and beans to the troops. I bet some of them are eating lots of antacid on this one.

  3. I get Vigilante's irony:

    In order to continue fighting and occupying Afghanistan, we have to expand the war into Pakistan. This reminds me of Nixon escalating into Cambodia. It would be deja vue 1971 except it goes one better: we are seeing it necessary to conduct air strikes into a country upon whom we depend on for logistics. We are deeper in - up to our nuts - now, then we were 40 years ago.

  4. Critics of the president have seized on Woodward's book OBAMA's WARS, as proof that he is a weakling who doesn't have the fortitude to wage war. He should learn from Lincoln, FDR or Churchill, they say, and do what it takes to win. No. Those leaders were engaged in massive wars that threatened their nation's existence. Obama is prosecuting a complex military intervention aimed at weakening a terrorist organization. It requires less Churchill and more Eisenhower, a tough willingness to make strategic choices and impose limits on the use of American blood and treasure. The United States has spent more than $2 trillion in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is understandable, in fact commendable, that the president does not want to write another set of blank checks for the Afghan war.

  5. Yes, I am reduced to being ironic. And yes, Obama needs more Eisenhower. Unfortunately he's going Nixonian.

  6. The longer/more that we mess around in Pakistan, the closer that that government gets to being toppled. Can you'all say a nuclear Taliban?