Though the Pakistan border has reopened to NATO traffic, the need to rely on Pakistan for some 80% of the Afghan War’s supplies has been problematic, to say the least, and the alliance has been looking elsewhere for routes to the landlocked country.
But they won’t find one in Russia, which today announced that it had formally denied NATO permission to transport military supplies through its country. Russia has been allowing non-military goods through the land route, and will continue to do so.
Supplying goods to the 150,000 NATO troops and its associated allies in a landlocked, mountainous country with very little transportation infrastructure is no small problem, and it has only grown as the war has been escalated.
The route through Pakistan’s Khyber Pass is the only seriously practical one, but it is often targeted by militants and has also been closed on occasion when NATO troops have attacked Pakistan. Despite the unreliability of the Khyber route as tensions rise with Pakistan and the war worsen, it seems there will be no simple way of replacing it.