Afghanistan’s Perilous Roads: Allies Struggle to Find Safer Supply Route

The tribal people who live in the remote borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan are irritated about ongoing intrusions into their territory and way of life. As result, attacks against NATO convoys are on the rise along the few rugged roads between the two countries. Plans are underway for sending more NATO troops to stabilize Afghanistan, and that may force the allies to look for alternatives to routes across the Khyber Pass and through the Pakistani city of Quetta. “As the risks and costs continue to rise, time is of the essence,” reports a team of reporters from Spiegel International, adding that air cargo is safer, yet more expensive. Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have balked at allowing such convoys to pass within their borders. The ideal alternative could be Iran, which borders both Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the country has had troubled relations with the US since the CIA assisted in overthrowing a popular leader in 1953 and cementing a dictator’s power, which paved the way for the 1979 Islamic revolution and an exchange of bombastic rhetoric since 2000. Low-level talks are already underway and work begun on a possible supply route. After years of fighting, the West is just coming to understand the complex and longstanding divisions among Muslims throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. – YaleGlobal

Afghanistan’s Perilous Roads: Allies Struggle to Find Safer Supply Route

The Taliban has staged repeated attacks on Afghanistan's perilous Khyber Pass against trucks loaded with NATO supplies; the international security forces, including Germany's Bundeswehr, are scrambling to find safer routes -- and might even consider one through Iran
Dieter Bednarz
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Click here for the article on Spiegel Online.

This article is translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2009. All Rights Reserved.