Friday, August 22, 2008

Mad Max in Afghanistan

Nato with their brilliant strategy in Georgia have just successfully cut their own emergency alternative supply route into Afghanistan via Russia. Meanwhile Iran has refused a request for its territory to be used as a supply route. Can't imagine why they would have done that. An airlift of fuel into Afghanistan is impossible due to the huge volumes required.

Moon of Alabama does the math and calculates the resistance can strangle the occupation by targeting the road fuel convoy from the Pakistani port of Karachi to Kandahar and to Kabul via the Khyber pass.

“In the summer months, I would expect to be attacked once or twice a week,” said one manager, unwilling to speak on the record.

“Last week, we were caught up in an attack on a convoy of fuel trucks on a road we are working on. It looked like a war zone, with five diesel tanks burst open by [rocket propelled grenades] and burning diesel flooding out over the road.”

The security companies are circumspect about how many tankers they lose, but he said “multiple dozens” have been lost in the south each month during the summer. In June, fighters set upon a convoy of more than 50 tankers, setting fire to them about 65km south of Kabul....

Forty fuel trucks were destroyed in March near the crossing between the two countries.

However, a western security executive told the FT that for a period last summer some military bases in the south were almost running on empty, “stopping all non-essential movement and offensive operations because of fuel shortages”....

An al-Qaeda member told Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, "The single strategy of severing NATO's supply lines from Pakistan is the key to success. If the blockage is successfully implemented in 2008, the Western coalition will be forced to leave Afghanistan in 2009, and if implemented next year, the exit is certain by 2010."

Several al-Qaeda cells have apparently been activated in Karachi to monitor the movement of NATO supply convoys....

"Without Russia's support in Afghanistan, NATO would face a new Vietnam, and this is clear to everyone. Militarily, NATO and Russia have a very good and trusting relationship," [Russian Ambassador to Nato] Rogozin said from his Brussels office....

A commenter says:

I would doubt the Russians would seriously imperil Nato supplies lines to Afghanistan. Actually, I would think the more precarious the situation, the more lucrative the operation and thus the Russian oligarchs would be only too happy to deal.

b replies:

Even Russian oligarchs are nationalists ... still you may be right ... why not let NATO slowly bleed to death in Afganistan ...

Mr Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia: Troops. Afghanistan. OUT. NOW!

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