Tensions between the US and Pakistan have been on the rise for months, and while US officials have publicly downplayed the seriousness of the matter, privately they have been looking to dramatically expand shipping through the costly northern route into Afghanistan, by way of Central Asia.
This is because throughout the first decade of the Afghan War, materially all of the supplies for the NATO occupation have come into Afghanistan by way of the southern route, shipping into Pakistan and traversing the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan.
The move to the far more expensive northern route reflects growing fear that, as the US and Pakistan see their ties go south, the Pakistani government may soon decide that the massive convoys of fuel and weapons heading north into Afghanistan are no longer welcome.
The supply lines have been briefly cut in the past, mostly reflecting militant violence in Khyber and Pakistan’s inability to secure the winding route for such enormous amounts of traffic. Interestingly though it may be US inability to maintain friendly ties, not Pakistan’s security woes, which cuts the route.