Friday, March 02, 2012

U.S. General Says Closure Of Pakistan Supply Routes Complicates Afghan Pullout

U.S. General Says Closure Of Pakistan Supply Routes Complicates Afghan Pullout

The U.S. military's top transport commander says overland cargo routes through Pakistan must be reopened to NATO for the United States to complete its pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Pakistan closed overland cargo routes for NATO supplies in November amid deteriorating relations with the United States and the NATO alliance.

U.S. General William Fraser told the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 28 that the so-called Northern Distribution Network, which passes through Central Asia, was unable to handle the large number of shipments or all of the types of cargo that need to be moved out of Afghanistan to keep the withdrawal on schedule.

Fraser said existing agreements with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan allowed equipment that is now in Afghanistan to pass through their territory as the war draws down -- but not any weapons.

He said the U.S. military was exploring routes to move nonlethal supplies and some types of armored vehicles through those countries....

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