Monday, April 28, 2008

Almost Cut Off

I have repeatedly expressed my concerns about committing too many forces to Afghanistan. I would much rather achieve our goals imperfectly with fewer troops than risk the loss of our forces if they are cut off from supplies.

Our enemies had the same idea:

The Taliban and their al-Qaeda associates, in what they considered a master stroke, this year started to target the Western alliance's supply lines that run through Pakistan into Afghanistan.

Their focal point was Khyber Agency, in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a key transit point for as much as 70% of the alliance's supplies needed to maintain its battle against the Afghan insurgency.

The spectacular blowing up on March 20 of 40 gas tankers at Torkham - the border crossing in Khyber Agency into Afghanistan's Nangarhar province - sent shock waves through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led (NATO) coalition.

Ultimately, we thwarted the enemy plot, and negotiated an alternative supply route through Russia to the north. Excuse me if I don't find Russian control of our supply lines much more comforting.