US greatly uses Central Asia for Afghan invasion supplies

The route runs across Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

US greatly uses Central Asia for Afghan invasion supplies

The United States has greatly expanded the use of a new supply route through Central Asia this year to send "nonmilitary cargo" to its troops occupying Afghanistan, a Defense Department official said on Tuesday.

In the past 11 months, the United States has shipped almost 5,000 containers to its troops along the Central Asian railway route, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney.

The route runs across Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

"We will expand this number (of containers) in 2010 to meet the new demand that will be created by President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Sedney told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee.

In addition to the supply route, known as the Northern Distribution Network on the ground, the Defense Department conducts military overflights of most countries in Central Asia, Sedney said.

Not all of the ground cargo that goes through Pakistan gets to U.S. troops, but the cargo moved through the newer Central Asian route arrives all the time.

Bottlenecks are created in Afghanistan because it has no railroads, Sedney said. When the rail cargo arrives there, it has to be loaded onto trucks. A new railroad planned for Afghanistan with the help of the Asian Development Bank will help remedy this, Sedney said.

Obama earlier this month announced plans to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year to join the roughly 68,000 already there since in 2001.



Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2009, 12:17
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