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Tuesday, December 9

Smoke on the Khyber

Pass, that is.

Militants in Pakistan's North-West Province stormed a truck lot in Peshawar, blew apart the gate with a rocket-propelled grenade and killed the gate guard, then proceeded to torch and destroy about 150 trucks scheduled to be used by NATO forces to bring supplies through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan.

About 70 percent of NATO's supplies comes through the Khyber, through territory only somewhat controlled by Pakistani troops. The supplies included Humvees, food and medical supplies. Juan Cole reports that the attackers were likely members of the Pakistani Taliban, who differ from the Afghan Taliban by being a bit more tribal-based rather than religious-based.

Several NATO nations have been negotiating with other nations, including Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for alternate supply routes that will avoid Pakistan and the sea route through the Gulf of Aden, which as we've seen is full of Somali pirates. The US will probably be following suit, as Humvees cost money and to have them torched before they can get to the troops is a definite non-starter as a operational plan.

Thank goodness the grown-ups will be taking power in Washington in less than two months. They've got their work cut out for them.

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