Pakistan’s Cutoff Doesn’t Have NATO Curbing Operations… Yet

Pentagon 'Not Aware' US Has Personnel at Drone Base

A large portion of NATO’s supplies have been cut off by Pakistan’s closure in response to a Friday night air raid by US warplanes, and a drone base which officials have repeatedly indicated is a huge portion of America’s surveillance in Pakistan is being ordered closed. But what is the impact on the Afghan occupation? Nothing, at least not yet.

The war effort continues,” insisted Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, though he declined to indicate how long this could be sustained without any access to supplies from the southern border.

The first real impact will probably be late next week, when the drone base in Shamsi is supposed to be vacated by US forces. Little downplayed this as well, saying he wasn’t aware that the US even had personnel at the base, but quietly officials have been touting the base’s use in surveillance for a long time, and its loss will likely be a serious blow for the occupation effort.

The attitude so far is very much one that rests on the belief that Pakistan will eventually back off and let NATO get back to normal operations. Prime Minister Gilani, however, suggests this isn’t going to be the case, and the impact could be a major increase in costs for the occupation and a shortage of several types of supplies which simply can’t be shipped through the northern, Russia-sanctioned route.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.