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Afghanistan: Northern Supply Lines Under Attack

Moon of Alabama

June 13, 2009

Due to the increasing attacks on the supply lines to Afghanistan from the port of Karachi in Pakistan through Quetta to Kandahar and through Peshavar to Kabul, the U.S. looked for new supply lines. These were found in the north.

Back in February Tajikistan and Uzbekistan allowed the U.S. and NATO to transport non-military goods (an oxymoron?) across their borders. The northern routes goes from Latvia at the Baltic sea via rail through Russia and Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and from there to Afghanistan.

Predictably those new supply lines are now coming under attack.


bigger


The yellow line is the ring road that connects the major cities of Afghanistan. The blue lines are the eastern supply lines from Karachi through Pakistan. The green lines are he roads from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and the pink routes, so far officially unused (but suspects) for U.S. supplies, are from Iran.

This video from Al Jazeera is about some one hundred Taliban in Kunduz and their attempts to shut down the supply line from Tajikistan. They seem to able to openly operate there even though a reinforced battalion of German troops is stationed in the (quite huge) area.

One Taliban interviewed claims:

"We have got new bombs that explode when tanks get into 20 meter of them. We make them ourselves. They are strong devices and only cost us 40 dollars to put together."

The road war in Afghanistan is not a new phenomenon. Here is a quote from the 1988 piece Ambush! The Road War in Afghanistan:

While geographic and climatic factors together with limited lines of communication (LOCs) combined with early inexperience to produce less than satisfactory logistic performance, it was the frequent, widespread and successful interdiction of supply convoys that most severely constrained logistic support. Effective Mujahedeen use of mines, ambushes, rock slides, fires, bridge demolition and other often innovative interdiction techniques damaged or destroyed convoys and closed roads time after time, including the Salang Pass itself.

As one Soviet source put it, "What surprises the enemy has sprung upon us on these roads." A successful trip from the Soviet border to Kabul became an event to be commemorated and remains so.

Indeed.

Earlier coverage of Afghanistan logistics at MoA:

More Aviation Fuel For Afghanistan, March 17, 2009
An Update On Afghanistan Logistics, March 6, 2009
Iran Should Offer Fuel To DESC, Feb 21, 2009
The New Route Plus Iranian Jet Fuel Supply To Afghanistan, Feb 20, 2009
The Pink Route To Afghanistan, Feb 3, 2009
The Costly New Supply Route To Afghanistan, Jan 26, 2009
New Supply Routes To Afghanistan, Nov 19, 2008
Fuel for War in Afghanistan Aug 20, 2008
The Road War in Afghanistan Aug 16, 2008
Fuel Tanker Attacks in Afghanistan Mar 24, 2008



:: Article nr. 55102 sent on 14-jun-2009 05:06 ECT

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Link: www.moonofalabama.org/2009/06/afghanistan-northern-supply-lines-under-attack-1.h
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