World

June 11, 2012

Work continues toward opening Pakistan supply routes

by SFC Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

Though a team of U.S. negotiators is returning home after several weeks of discussing reopening ground supply routes in Pakistan, the talks are not mired, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said June 11.

In November, Pakistan closed ground routes that had been used to resupply forces in Afghanistan after a NATO airstrike accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers earlier in the month.

“The [ground lines of communication] remain an open issue,” Little told reporters. “We’ve not reached a resolution yet with the Pakistanis on reopening the ground supply routes. We hope to resolve the issue soon. We haven’t gotten to ‘yes’ yet, but this is something we’re going to continue to work very hard [on] with our Pakistani counterparts.”

Officials will continue to work through the office of the defense representative in Pakistan to try to resolve the matter, Little said. “We will continue to have dialogue,” he added, “so while the issue is not resolved, the talking has not stalled.”

The press secretary emphasized that the negotiating team’s departure from Pakistan shouldn’t be taken as a sign of unwillingness to continue the dialogue.

“The members of the team that are leaving, or have left, are prepared to return to Islamabad at any moment to continue discussions in person,” he said. Little said he thinks there is agreement, in concept, that the supply routes can be reopened. “Both sides would like to be able to reopen the ground supply routes,” he said. “There are some specific issues that need to [be] worked through.”

Although it’s possible to continue the mission in Afghanistan without the Pakistani ground supply routes, Little said, having them open would provide more options and would be less expensive.

“The more options you have available to you when you’re mounting a major logistics effort like supplying the war effort in Afghanistan, and in bringing people and equipment out, the better,” he said.

Little said the decision for the U.S. team to leave Pakistan was independent of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s comments reflecting frustration over Pakistan serving as a safe haven for terrorists.

“The comments … were largely directed at the problem of the Haqqani network and the safe haven in Pakistan,” he noted. “We’ve made our concerns known for a very long time about the safe havens in Pakistan, and the ability of the Haqqani network to cross the border and conduct attacks inside Afghanistan. The secretary’s remarks on the trip were focused [on that].”

Little said the Haqqani network’s ability to conduct operations inside Afghanistan remains a “very serious concern” for the United States.

“We believe that it’s important, as [Panetta] indicated, that the Pakistanis do their part, on their side of the border, to stop the Haqqanis from mounting operations,” he said.

“This is something we need to work through with the Pakistanis,” he added. “We believe that we can establish a relationship that produces the kind of action we believe is required on their side of the border.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 
 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 

 

Six F-15s, KC-135 to augment NATO mission in Baltics

Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement March 5 during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information. In a statement provided on background, the official said the United...
 
 

Three U.S. military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, 4 wounded

Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that Dec. 21 became a battle ground between the country’s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day...
 
 

U.S. looks to Asia nations to build their militaries

Lawmakers voiced bipartisan support Oct. 29 for the Obama administration’s strategic pivot to Asia but stressed the need for partner nations to strengthen their military capabilities and contribute more to their own defense. Members of the House Armed Services Committee plan to step up scrutiny of U.S. military policy in the fast-growing region, where despite...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>