Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, June 21, 2018 04:14:56 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

Entertainment »

Race 3 inches towards Rs 200 cr mark


Salman Khan's film Race 3 is unstoppable. The film, which hit screens on June 15, is giving all sorts of reasons for the star cast to celebrate. The Remo D'Souza directorial had already crossed the benchmark of Rs 100 crore at the Indian box office. But interestingly, the Salman fever ...

Editorial »

Unfortunately government has no political leadership to restore peace in Chattogram Hill Tracts


THREE more activists of Parbatya Chattogram Janasanghati Samity (MN Larma) and United People's Democratic Front (Democratic) were shot dead at their homes in Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts between Friday and Sunday. Conflicts between different groups in Chattogram Hill Tracts have led to the death of at least 22 people in ...

Business & Economy »

Shibbir Mahmud, Chairman, Board of Directors of Islamic Finance and Investment Limited, presiding over its 236th meeting at its head office in the city recently. AZM Saleh, Managing Director, Rezakul Haider, Anis Salahuddin Ahmad, Vice-Chairmen, Anwar Hossain Chowdhury, EC Chairman, Md. Jahidur Rahman, Audit Committee Chairman, SM Bakhtiar Alam, Hossain Mahmud, Liaquat Hossain Moghul and KBM Moin Uddin Chisty, Directors of the company were also present.


International »

China-N Korea joint efforts to bring peace, stability in Korean peninsula, hopes Xi


Reuters, Beijing : Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday that with the joint efforts of the two countries, the Korean peninsula will definitely be peaceful and stable, official news agency Xinhua said.Xi made the comments during a meeting at Beijing's Diaoyutai state guest ...

Football »

Putin missed Russia-Egypt match but 'happy' at win


AFP, Moscow :The Kremlin on Wednesday said Vladimir Putin did not watch Russia's surprise win over Egypt in the World Cup because he was on a plane but added that he reacted "very positively, like the whole of our country".  "Unfortunately, he did not watch the match itself. It so ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a prèss conference at the party central office in the city's Nayapalton on Wednesday in protest against his confinement by police in Noakhali.


Editorial »

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident


NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and also the son of martyred journalist Selina Parvin was found dead in the capital's Khilgaon the day before yesterday. There ...

Business & Economy »

A delegation headed by Farzana Chowdhury, CEO of Green Delta Insurance makes a courtesy call with Dr. M Khairul Hossain, the newly appointed Chairman of Security Exchange Commission recently. Additional Managing Director and Company Secretary Syed Moinuddin Ahmed and Deputy Managing Director Wafi S M Khan of the company were also present.


Football »

England beat Tunisia 2-1


AFP, Volgograd :Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.  Gareth Southgate's men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half ...

Football »

Harry Kane : England's new prince


AFP, Volgograd :Harry Kane rose emphatically to the World Cup challenge in England's opening match against Tunisia, scoring a last-gasp winner to give Gareth Southgate's side lift-off in Russia.It was a remarkable World Cup debut for Kane, who bore the added pressure of the captain's armband and the weight of ...

Entertainment »

I`m indebted to J.P. Dutta for life : Pooja Bhatt


Actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt said she is indebted to veteran director J.P. Dutta for not only making her a part of 'Border' but also for encouraging her to never change. 'Border' on Wednesday completed 21 years of its release and Pooja took to Twitter to thank Dutta for casting her in ...

International »

US won`t be made a migrant camp


President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would not become a "migrant camp" as he faced mounting pressure to stop families being separated as a deterrent to illegal immigration."The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility," Trump ...

City »

Pedestrians passing through a muddy road as the authority concerned does not repair the road for long time. The snap was taken from Bibir Bagicha area in the city's Jatrabari on Tuesday.


Editorial »

Save the flood victims and take adequate measures for post-flood rehabilitation


INCESSANT rainfall in the last few days has triggered floods in the country's East and South East districts. Thousands of people of Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Feni and Chattogram districts have been marooned as floodwater crawled to inundate their homestead and damage crops and livestock. The New Nation recently reported that Khowai, ...

Football »

A Mexico soccer fan celebrates her team victory against Germany after their group F match at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Sunday.


 
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