Pentagon: NATO To Use India If Pakistan Continues To Block Afghan War Supplies
Press Trust of India
March 30, 2012
‘US to rely on India if Pak doesn’t open NATO route’
Washington: The US will have to default and rely on India and the Northern Distribution network if Pakistan does not open up its crucial Afghan supply route, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers on Thursday.
However, the Pentagon official testifying before a Congressional subcommittee did not gave details of the Indian network, on which it can depend for its crucial supplies to Afghanistan.
“If we can’t negotiate or successfully negotiate the reopening of the PAK GLOC (Ground Lines of Communication) we have to default and rely on India and the Northern Distribution Network, our increased strat airlift,” Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank Panter, the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, told lawmakers.
Both are expensive propositions and it increases the deployment or redeployment, Panter said in his testimony before the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
Islamabad has closed the NATO supply route after the November 26 cross-border fire that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
At the same time, the Pentagon official indicated that this (India) is a sensitive issue.
“There’s always that sensitive issue about the nations. We’re dealing with the Indian network in itself. If for some reason there’s additional political strain related to these countries, that restricts the flow as well. Redeployment timelines, by not being able to use the PAK GLOC, will increase along with, as you mentioned, ma’am, the cost as well,” he said.
“Despite all these challenges, though, TRANSCOM and CENTCOM, they do have mitigation strategies in place. I would be more than happy to talk about those as well. There are quite a few of them. But negotiations are ongoing, as you know, to reopen the PAK GLOC,” Panter said.
Army Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, said the Pak GLOC is critical and it has been closed since November.
“The Northern Distribution Network, it’s three to four times more expensive because it’s three to four times lengthier. It’s very complicated, a variety of different methods – rail, ferries, truck – so significant amount of changing and loading and unloading, so that adds to the cost as well,” he added.
Online International News Network
March 30, 2012
US Generals can’t change govt, army stance on NATO supply: Mukhtar
ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar Thursday urged that the visit of two or three US army men cannot change the stance of the government and Army regarding NATO supplies.
Talking to the media, the minister maintained that only parliament is sovereign in order to decide the restoration of NATO supply.
He said that talks regarding the opening of the NATO supply line are not being held while parliament would give its decision by reviewing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and the government and army would follow the decision of the parliament.
Mukhtar said, therefore, the US should also respect the decision of the parliament. He added the recent visit of US army men cannot pressurize the government and army.
The national security and sovereignty of the country would be assured at any cost, while anyone who will go against the national security will have stern action taken against him, he added.