Friday, February 20, 2009

Dancing With the Stans

We continue to work the very serious problem of establishing secure supply lines to Afghansitan:

Kyrgyzstan ordered U.S. forces on Friday to depart within six months from an air base key to military operations in Afghanistan, complicating plans to send more troops to battle rising Taliban and al-Qaida violence.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, however, that he believed the base was not a "closed issue." The U.S. has said it would consider paying more rent to keep the base open.

Pakistani militants have stepped up attacks on convoys traveling the primary supply route to Afghanistan in recent months pushing U.S. officials to secure alternative, northern routes through Central Asia.

The U.S. announced a small victory in that hunt Friday — saying neighboring Uzbekistan had granted permission for the transit of non-lethal cargo to Afghanistan.

With our forces scheduled to double over the next year, this is vital to nail down. I'm just not comfortable at all with this situation. We'd best have serious plans to rescue our troops should the various Stans fail to keep our supply lines open.