Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 07:53:13 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

US military weighs options in case Pakistan blocks Afghan supply lines

photo by

US President Donald Trump announced he would freeze security aid payments to Islamabad.

By
08th-Jan-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Washington :
Pentagon officials are watching for Pakistan's next moves after Washington froze security aid payments to Islamabad, saying it is not doing enough to target Afghan Taliban and Haqqani group bases.
The Trump administration's decision to withhold hundreds of millions from its "coalition support funds" has riled Pakistan, with some there calling for retaliatory measures that might hamper America's warfighting efforts in neighboring Afghanistan.
Most problematic for America as it wages its 16-year war in Afghanistan would be if Pakistan suddenly shut its border points into the country, stemming the vital flow of goods, food and gear from the port at Karachi.
Though US officials insisted they'd seen no evidence Islamabad was planning such a move, it has happened before.
In 2011, Pakistan closed its border to NATO supplies following a series of incidents that brought relations between the US and Pakistan to all-time lows.
These incidents included a botched American air raid and the killing of Osama bin Laden, who was living in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
At the time, the US-led forces in Afghanistan endured the closure by relying on cargo flights and a more costly northern route through Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Citing security reasons, the Pentagon declined to provide percentages of US supplies going into Afghanistan through Pakistan, but Afghan security forces in particular rely on the supply lines through Pakistan, with a stream of trucks hauling a plethora of goods into the landlocked country.
While the US favors Pakistan supply routes because of cost, officials stressed America has built "flexibility and redundancy" into its supply chains.
"As military planners, we develop multiple supply chain contingencies to sustain theater requirements to maintain the train, advise and assist mission to the Afghan National Defense Security Forces," Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told AFP.
In Pakistan, several figures were quick to call on their government to close supply lines, including opposition leader Imran Khan.
"The time (has) come to stand firm and give a strong response to the US," Khan said in a statement.
"We must deny the US (supply route) facilities which we were providing the US free of charge."
But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Pentagon reporters he had gotten no indication the Pakistanis were going to shut off ground supply lines, or air overflights.
"I am not concerned about them," he said, referring to the supply lines.
Mattis said the US continues to work with Pakistan and would restore security payments "if we see decisive movements against the terrorists who are as much of a threat against Pakistan as they are against us."
For Christine Fair, a South Asia expert at Georgetown University, this part of the problem is key.
The Trump administration must clearly lay out what it expects from Pakistan and what additional punitive steps would be taken if it shuts down the supply lines, she said.
She was particularly concerned about the possibility of Pakistan closing its air space to America, meaning efforts to fly air cargo into Afghanistan could get much more difficult.
Pakistan "could within its rights... say you will not use our air space," she said. "That would be a humungous problem."
Unlike in 2011, the US no longer has an air base in Kyrgyzstan, which had been the main transit point for American military personnel and cargo in and out of Afghanistan but was abandoned amid a price row in 2014 with the Obama administration.
Additionally, Washington's fraught relations with Russia could make flying over Central Asian states less reliable, with Moscow able to exert influence on its smaller neighbors.
After more than a decade of simmering US anger at Islamabad's links with the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network-a Taliban affiliate-the Trump administration is trying to draw a line in the sand.
Fair said almost all US deaths from the Taliban in Afghanistan can be attributed to the Pakistanis.
"They literally take our money with one hand and they give it to the Taliban with the other," she said.
"You cannot fight a war and win when the country you are dependent upon for logistical supplies is undermining your efforts there."
A US defense official told AFP that the military already has plenty of options to keep its troops well supplied, and could fill gaps by chartering commercial air delivery planes.
"The question is, if it were to happen, how long would it last?" the official said.
Weeks or months would probably be "something that we could deal with through temporary solutions and wouldn't matter so terribly much."

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

We welcome Islamabad for awarding Bangladeshi-origin refugees Pakistan`s nationality


PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...

Sports »

Argentina's Facundo Conte (left) and teammate Alexis Gonzalez celebrate during the Men's World Championships' volleyball match between Argentina and Slovenia, in Florence, Italy on Monday.


Football »

FIFA president Infantino has doubts about La Liga match in Miami


AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...

Entertainment »

Annie Sekhon all set to shine in Bollywood


Actress Annie Sekhon who has worked in many television shows and Punjabi films is having the time of her life. Off late she's been enjoying the success of her latest Punjabi film, 'Punjab Singh' opposite Gurjind Maan. The hangover of this film hasn't even faded yet and she's taking a ...

Entertainment »

2018 Emmy winners list


Best Drama Series: Game of ThronesBest Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselBest Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, The AmericansBest Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, The CrownBest Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of ThronesBest Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Thandie Newton, WestworldBest Writing, Drama Series: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Momin Ud Dowlah, Chairman and Managing Director of Eon Group of Industries Limited, inaugurating its 18th anniversary celebrating programme by cutting cake at Eon Convention Center in the city on Sunday. Major ABA Mesbah Ud Dowlah, Vice-Chairman, ABA Shahid Ud Dowlah, Executive Director, Sayeeda Dowla, Director and Dr. Tamim Ud Dowlah, Group Director were also present.


City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a discussion on 'Voting Rights-Fair Justice and Human Rights: Present Bangladesh' organised by Bangladesh Jatiya Manobadhikar Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019


Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018."We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the ...

Editorial »

Journalists` concern for free speech should not be ignored


EDITORS' Council on Saturday expressed its surprise, dissatisfaction, and shock at the final report of a parliamentary standing committee on the draft Digital Security Act which totally ignored the concerns expressed by journalists. Following disapproval from journalists, rights campaigners and foreign diplomats in Dhaka, the Law Minister earlier had admitted ...

Sports »

Japan's Osaka blames US Open tears on 'notorious' nerves


AFP, Tokyo :Naomi Osaka has put her US Open tears down to shredded nerves and her natural awkwardness, rather than the tantrum thrown by Serena Williams that overshadowed a historic Japanese win.The 20-year-old melted hearts when she burst into sobs as boos rang out following her emphatic 6-2, 6-4 thrashing ...

International »

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US


AFP :Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the southeastern United States on Monday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence crept over South ...

International »

Imran Khan pledges citizenship to Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees


Al Jazeera News :Karachi, Pakistan - Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to implement existing Pakistani laws that would grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who were born on Pakistani soil, a major departure from previous policy.Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees, according ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu Smriti Sangsad at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and other leaders of the party.


Entertainment »

Radhika Apte turns adviser for AndhaDhun director


AndhaDhun director, Sriram Raghavan holds Radhika’s opinion in high regard when it comes to working on a project. Radhika being an omnipresent character in the entertainment world, the filmmaker feels that seeking advice from the actress always works in favor of him. According to sources, Sriram Raghavan said, “Since Radhika ...

Editorial »

DUCSU election is desirable but subservient party politics must end


ACADEMICS and former student leaders have emphasised favourable environment and immediate announcement of schedule to hold the long-awaited election to Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU). While Dhaka University authorities initiated a discussion with student organisations over the issue yesterday, the participants welcoming the DU's move pointed out that flexing ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news