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Belmont Club

Beyond the Kyber Pass

November 16th, 2008 - 12:19 pm

Bill Roggio reports that some road crossings from Pakistan in Afganistan are closed because the Pakistanis cannot secure the route.

Pakistan has halted all NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan via the Torkham border crossing point, citing the poor security situation along the vital artery into Afghanistan.

“Hundreds of trucks and containers had been stopped in Peshawar” after the political agent of the Khyber tribal agency shut down traffic along the road, Daily Times reported. “Supplies had been suspended following incidents of looting of trucks and containers carrying oil and other supplies for the NATO forces battling Taliban in Afghanistan.” …

The road from Peshawar to the Torkham border crossing at the Khyber Pass has been secured by a combination of the paramilitary Frontier Corps and members of the Afridi tribe. A senior US military intelligence official expressed dismay in the performance of these local forces during a conversation with The Long War Journal. The official is also concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Peshawar. …

The Taliban have also declared open season of foreign dignitaries, aid workers and journalists. The past week has seen a rash of kidnappings and assassinations against foreigners in Peshawar’s so-called secured neighborhoods. A US aid worker and his driver were killed on Nov. 12. An Iranian consular official was kidnapped on Nov. 13. Two reporters were shot and wounded during a kidnapping attempt on Nov. 14.

Read the whole thing. The two major issues raised by the situation are 1) the future of Pakistan’s ability to keep its territorial integrity and 2) the viability of the lines of communication between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It’s no use talking about a Surge in Afghanistan if the supply lines to the sea are largely cut. Pakistan has to be fixed first.

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