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Thread: Supply routes to Afghanistan

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Supply routes to Afghanistan

    A few weeks ago I commented on the overland supply routes used by ISAF / NATO and USA via Pakistan, found just:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071114/...15GzQeG1Cs0NUE

    The interesting part I quote:

    Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the supply lines are "very real areas of concern" because about 75 percent of the supplies, including 40 percent of vehicle fuel supplies, either go through or over Pakistan.

    "We hope it doesn't come to this," Morrell told reporters. "Right now we've seen no indications that any of our supply lines have been impacted."

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Supply routes to Afghanistan

    Interesting McClatchy story on Khyber Agency:

    U.S. Afghan supply lines depend on Islamic militant - McClatchy, 25 April.

    The only thing standing between Pakistan's Taliban and the lifeline for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan may be an Islamist warlord who controls the area near Pakistan's famed Khyber Pass.

    In an interview with McClatchy, Mangal Bagh, who leads a group called Lashkar-i-Islam, voiced his disdain for America but said he's rebuffed an offer from the Taliban to join them.

    Truckloads of food, equipment and fuel for NATO troops wind through the Khyber Pass daily to the bustling border at Torkham. Last month, Taliban fighters bombed fuel trucks waiting at Torkham to cross into Afghanistan, and last week, fighting between Bagh's men and a pocket of Taliban resistance closed the highway for several days.

    Locals said that Bagh wouldn't allow Taliban fighters to cross into the Khyber agency, which is part of Pakistan's tribal belt and is now largely under his control ...

    Bagh's stance has led to allegations that he has ties to Pakistani authorities or to the country's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
    One of the senior members of Lashkar-i-Islam, Mistry-Sahib, denied any connection with the Pakistan state.

    "We don't want to fight the government (unlike the Taliban); it is our country," said Mistry. "We just want peace in our area. We have no connection with the government because their policies are not right."

    Pakistani authorities appear to have withdrawn from Bara and much of Khyber agency, and they've taken no recent action to rein in Bagh ...

  3. #3
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Supply routes to Afghanistan

    Following this BBC report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7769758.stm

    I thought a thread on this subject appropriate.

    The reliance upon the use of Karachi port and private hauliers (trucks) to take supplies into Afghanistan, mainly via the Khyber Pass, has appeared in other threads before. One citation was that 90% of all supplies came this way; I suspect some European NATO partners use another route, which I suspect is via Iran.

    Reliance = vulnerabilituy and without Pakistani agreement I fail to see how our campaign in Afghanistan can continue.

    I am aware that attacks have happened before and that the Pakistani authorities have twice recently temporarily closed the Khyber Pass.

    SWJ reactions?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2008 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Piecemeal sentence bys entence due to IT problems

  4. #4
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Problem, no question -- and likley to

    get worse before it gets better. The alternative route through Russia is unlikely to fill the void.

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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Default

    My Dad (ret COL) pulled his final stint at MTMC (Now SDDC) in 2001-2002 when Afghanistan was kicking off. They tried railing some test shipments of supplies from the Black Sea across the former Soviet Union. They abandoned the idea after 50%+ pilferage of the containers enroute.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
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  6. #6
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Wow, makes the

    ILA / ILWU look like pikers. Anything 0ver 25% is considered significant and reason to change.

  7. #7
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Get er done...

    From the NATO website

    On Afghanistan, ministers expressed their common interest in the establishment of peace and stability in the country. They welcomed the arrangements agreed at the Bucharest Summit for the land transit through Russia of non-military supplies for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan and the NRC's decision to continue cooperating in providing counter-narcotics training to Afghan and Central Asian personnel.
    From the Eurasia website

    Germany has became the first NATO nation to win Russian permission to use the country’s railways to transit military goods bound for Afghanistan.
    NATO officials see the Russian-German transit deal as an encouraging sign.
    It is the first major breakthrough in Russian-Western military relations since the Georgian conflict in August.
    It is also the first time Russia has permitted a NATO ally to transit military supplies via an overland route.
    But Russia has been careful to avoid giving the impression it is returning to business as usual with the Atlantic alliance, which indefinitely suspended cooperation in the NATO-Russia Council to protest Moscow’s actions in Georgia.
    A statement posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry on November 20 says Russia wants to deepen cooperation with the alliance on Afghanistan. But the statement only refers to bilateral transit agreements concluded with individual allies such as Germany, and does not mention a NATO-Russia land-transit accord signed on the margins of the NATO summit in Bucharest in April.
    NATO officials play down the distinction.
    From the WSJ Website

    Up to 75% of supplies for Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan pass through Pakistan after being unloaded from ships at the Arabian sea port of Karachi. NATO is already seeking an alternative route through Central Asia.
    Sapere Aude

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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Exclamation Taliban storm two Peshawar trucking terminals, 160 NATO vehicles torched

    Anyone else catch this?



    The Taliban launched military assaults on two shipping terminals in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, destroying more than 160 NATO military vehicles and supplies destined for Afghanistan. Security in the northwestern city is deteriorating as the Taliban seeks to control the region and shut down NATO's logistical chain to Afghansitan.

    The first attack took place at the Portward Logistic Terminal. An estimated 200 to 300 Taliban fighters fired rockets at the front gate, destroying the entrance and leveling the wall. The nine security guards on duty fled in the face of the massed Taliban attack.

    Taliban fighters then fired rocket propelled grenades into the compound and proceeded to set fire to the NATO vehicles parked inside. "There were dozens of them. They started firing, they used rockets, causing a lot of damage," the manager of the shipping terminal told the Associated Press.

    The Taliban force rampaged in the compound for more than forty minutes before Peshawar police responded. The Taliban force disengaged after clashing with the police, leaving the terminal in ruins. "They were shouting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) and Down With America," a security guard told Reuters.

    The attack was devastating. One security guard was killed and at least 106 NATO vehicles, including more than 70 Humvees, were destroyed. "In this incident 96 flat trucks and six containers were destroyed, including a 40-foot container," the terminal manager said. "Also armored jeeps, trucks and fire brigade vehicles."

    A second attack took place at the Al Faisal Terminal. A large Taliban force stormed the terminal after overwhelming the security guards. Three Pakistanis, including the terminal watchman, were killed in the attack. Sixty-two Humvees and other vehicles were reported destroyed in the attack.
    (emphasis mine)

    So 130 M1114's at over $1 mil apiece were destroyed?!?! Holy Sh*t.
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Same one Davidfpo posted earlier

    in the thread where you said your Dad mentioned the pilferage going through the Black sea, I think...

  10. #10
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    in the thread where you said your Dad mentioned the pilferage going through the Black sea, I think...
    I guess I'm on a doublepost roll today. Time for bed.

    UPDATE: Looked back at that thread, I guess the picture on the Long War Journal jolted me awake - Davidbfpo's post didn't spark me to click the link.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
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  11. #11
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    I guess I'm on a doublepost roll today. Time for bed.

    UPDATE: Looked back at that thread, I guess the picture on the Long War Journal jolted me awake - Davidbfpo's post didn't spark me to click the link.
    Well Neil, since you're already on a roll...

    Not much of a surprise going after our logistics. The Africans have been doing that for decades albeit not on the same scale.

    'bout time we are permitted to level the playing field and take them on with the same tenacity and lack of respect.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    So 130 M1114's at over $1 mil apiece were destroyed?!?! Holy Sh*t.
    The last time that I saw money burn up that quickly was when I visited the DFAC on LSA Anaconda. This is huge.

  13. #13
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Default #3

    It's happend a THIRD time now. Pakastan apparently has little ability to secure it's internal routes now. And we've lost a BCT's worth of wheeled vehicles, plus god knows what in CONNEX's.

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...stroy_50_n.php

    Taliban destroy 50 NATO supply trucks in third attack in Peshawar

    By Bill Roggio
    December 8, 2008 12:27 PM

    Taliban raiders destroyed another NATO supply column at a shipping terminal in the insurgency-wracked Northwest Frontier Province. The latest attack has caused Pakistan to shut down the NATO supply route through Peshawar.

    The Taliban launched an attack on the Bilal Terminal on Peshawar's Ring Road early Monday morning Pakistan time. More than 50 vehicles laden with supplies destined for NATO were destroyed after a Taliban force stormed the compound and burned the vehicles, a senior US intelligence source told The Long War Journal. The size of the Taliban unit is unknown.

    Taliban fighters also fired rocket propelled grenades at NATO convoys passing through the area, however no vehicles were reported damaged.

    The attack at the Bilal Terminal is the third such strike in two days. Early Sunday, the Taliban destroyed more than 160 NATO vehicles, including an estimated 60 to 70 Humvees, in two separate attacks on the Portward Logistic Terminal and the Al Faisal Terminal in Peshawar. An estimated 200 to 300 Taliban fighters stormed the Portward terminal, while the size of the attack force at the Al Faisal Terminal is unknown.

    Pakistani security forces were not protecting the Bilal Terminal despite yesterday's attacks. The Pakistani government said NATO convoys would be accompanied and protected by Pakistani military units.

    A US military spokeswoman described yesterday's attacks in Peshawar as "militarily insignificant." More than 70 percent of NATO supplies destined for Afghanistan move through Peshawar.

    Today's attack has prompted the Pakistani government to close down the vital NATO supply route from Peshawar to Kabul, according to Press TV. This is the second time the Khyber Pass supply route has been closed since Nov. 11.

    The Pakistani government shut down the vital Khyber Pass crossing two other times this year. The first time, the government closed the crossing to protest US airstrikes against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives sheltering in the tribal areas. The second time was in response to the poor security situation.

    The Taliban have stepped up their attacks on NATO supply lines moving through Peshawar over the past several months. The Taliban are also stepping up pressure on the Peshawar. Police and government officials fear they have lost control of the security situation in the provincial capital.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
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    Default Looking objectively...

    ...this is just about a perfect series of ops. A tactical action that has operational and potentially strategic effect. The MSR is closed, as Cavguy mentioned, the numbers are significant, and we are left with few alternatives to couter the attacks.

    If the actual purpose of these ops were to get us to increase our cross border attacks and undermine the Pak govt, I think those possibilities are good.

    IMO, increased attacks will greatly benefit the ACM winter recruiting drive.

  15. #15
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    Default Oh Pakistan

    I really really want to be able to convince myself that these attacks were not coordinated at some level with the Pakistan government, yet somehow I can not. As means to take attention away from the Mumbai attacks and to shore up $$$ for Pak "anti-terrorist" endeavors, it seems almost perfect. No evidence what-so-ever, only Paks bizarre behavior up until this point. Realistically we have assume they did not have Pakistani support or we look as crazy as 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Bah, this whole region gives me headaches and I'm only a spectator.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  16. #16
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Merged the threads

    I've merged the two threads and here is a link to some thoughts on the attack on Kings of War blogsite (although the relevance of the first photo escapes me).

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 12-10-2008 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Added link.

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    Default The attacks: 1 Dec, 7 Dec & 8 Dec - the local view

    Here are three reports giving the local viewpoint. If "500 hardened militants" can storm Peshawar (last report), the Pakis have a real governance problem there.

    Militants torch 150 NATO trucks in Pakistan, kill guard
    December 7th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS -

    Islamabad, Dec 7 (DPA) Some 300 heavily-armed rebels attacked two parking bays in north-western Pakistan full of vehicles used by US and NATO contractors for making deliveries to Afghanistan, killing a guard and torching dozens of trucks, the police said Sunday.The attack took place in the early hours at Al-Faisal International and Port World Logistics terminals on the outskirts of Peshawar city, where the trucks are parked at night. ....
    ....
    The attack on the Al-Faisal and World Port terminals was the second this week. On Monday [1 Dec], rebels killed two drivers and destroyed at least a dozen lorries loaded with NATO supplies in a pre-dawn attack.
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/...100128255.html

    Militants torch 50 NATO trucks in Pakistan (Lead)
    December 8th, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS -

    Islamabad Dec 8 (IANS) Another 50 trucks carrying goods for US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan were torched by militants Monday morning, bringing to more than 200 the total number of vehicles in less than 48 hours.Officials confirmed that this was the second attack in less than 48 hours in which several military vehicles and other military supplies were gutted to ash. Though there is no claim by any militants groups, Pakistani security forces said that Taliban are apparently behind the attacks on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of the restive North West Frontier Province.
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/...100128598.html

    Peshawar heading on Beiruts path
    December 8th, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by ANI -

    Peshawar, Dec.8 (ANI): Peshawar is once again in the news, but for all the wrong reasons.

    Last week, a car blast rocked the historic Qisakhawani bazaar killing three people and injuring several others. Then, trucks carrying NATO supplies were set on fire by extremists December 7.
    ....
    This was the second attack within a week on the terminal in Peshawar. On December 1, two persons were killed and over two dozen trucks were damaged when militants attacked the complex.
    ....
    High profile kidnapping and murders have added to the fears of Peshawar residents. There are fears in Peshawar that over 500 hardened militants camping in Khyber Agency may storm it in the near future.
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/...100128382.html

    Sounds something like early Vietnam when the B-57s were mortared on their ramps - Bien Hoa Air Base, 1 Nov 1964 - pic and story here and here.

  18. #18
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Drivers stop work

    After recent events the local Pakistani drivers stop work on delivering supplies to coalition in Afg: http://www.rttnews.com/Content/Gener...e=B1&Id=802229

    IIRC the Pakistani haulage sector is dominated by Afghans.

    Pause for thought; higher wages maybe?

    davidbfpo

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    Default Northern route partially reopened

    ..with more to come in "weeks, not months."

    Nato plans to open a new supply route to Afghanistan through Russia and Central Asia in the next eight weeks following a spate of attacks on its main lifeline through Pakistan this year, Nato and Russian sources have told The Times.

    Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the former Soviet Central Asian states that lie between Russia and Afghanistan, have agreed in principle to the railway route and are working out the small print with Nato, the sources said.

    “It'll be weeks rather than months,” said one Nato official. “Two months max.”
    From the same article, a third route:

    However, Nato and the United States are simultaneously in talks on opening a third supply route through the secretive Central Asian state of Turkmenistan to prevent Russia from gaining a stranglehold on supplies to Afghanistan, the sources said. Non-lethal supplies, including fuel, would be shipped across the Black Sea to Georgia, driven to neighbouring Azerbaijan, shipped across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan and then driven to the Afghan border.

    The week-long journey along this “central route” would be longer and more expensive than those through Pakistan or Russia and would leave supplies vulnerable to political volatility in the Caucasus and Turkmenistan.
    Last edited by Entropy; 12-16-2008 at 08:11 PM.

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    .......shipped across the Black Sea to Georgia, driven to neighbouring Azerbaijan, shipped across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan and then driven to the Afghan border.


    I want to book a seat on that package. That this is a serious option is a measure of how bad the situation is with the Paki route. It's difficult to consider what would make up a more interesting route - unless it went through the North Caucasus.......

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