New military supply route into Afghanistan
The United States has greatly expanded the use of a new supply route to send non-military cargo to Afghanistan via Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The route has been used to convey almost 5,000 containers to U.S. troops, Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary David Sedney said this week.
With President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in 2010, that number is expected to expand significantly, Sedney said.
The supply route through Central Asia is being used as an alternative to the traditional route to Afghanistan via Pakistan, which has become increasingly burdened and vulnerable to attack from insurgents along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The report indicated a much higher proportion of non-military goods shipped to troops via the new route arrive intact compared to those routed through Pakistan. The shipments include wood, nails and plastic sheeting, Reuters reported.