Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Supply Routes

General D. Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, has announced the securing of new supply routes to Afghanistan.

These would be the much-needed Central Asian routes, bypassing Pakistan, that both allow secure re-supply of ongoing operations and will be capable of building up capacity to support the coming troop increase in the theater this spring and summer.

Excellent news, indeed.


Kate said...

LDG, a question for you: in the cited article, Turkmenistan is mentioned. Do you think that, if the supply lines do in fact go through here, it will be seen as an act of hypocrisy, knowing how closed and repressive a society it is?

L.Douglas Garrett said...

short answer: Yes

(you didn't ask by who)

If however your route-choice for supply is trans-Caucasian-trans-Caspian and you don't want to enter Russian territory, the only other choice is via Turkmenistan.

long answer: If things were still like pre-2006 Turkmenistan, it certainly would be problematic to be seen doing anything that accepted the conduct of the regime. If, and it is a big IF, there is some hope for moderation in the new generation of leadership then it might not be hypocritical to have a more public inter-relationship.

L.Douglas Garrett said...


Serves me right for typing, not thinking...

via Uzbekistan is a trans-Caspian route as well.

"U.S. officials have said that one likely route is overland from Russia through Kazakhstan and on through Uzbekistan using trucks and trains. Another possible route is via Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea to the Kazakh port of Aktau and then through Uzbekistan."
source for the above quote.

L.Douglas Garrett said...

Just to put the idea of a trans-Russia part of the route off the table, our old pal Dmitri Rogozin tells Interfax that Russia does not agree.

Always the spoilsport, Dmitri. Always the spoilsport.