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December 8, 2011
The decision by Pakistan to close supply routes for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that lead from Pakistan to Afghanistan has so far had no major impact on the war effort, but U.S. officials hope they will be reopened soon, Pentagon press secretary George Little said during a briefing on Thursday.
“The war effort in Afghanistan continues, of course, and we are well aware of the closures and potential impacts,” Little said.
“To date there has been no significant impact to our ability to provide for the war effort. That being said, we do believe that these are important supply routes, and we hope that in the near future they can be reopened.”
Tensions between Washington and Islamabad soared after a NATO airstrike late last month killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a post near the Afghan border, an incident that infuriated the Pakistani army and public.
The NATO and American commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, as well as other ISAF leaders, have contingency plans, “and their planning continues.” Little said.
“But again, we hope that these supply routes become available to us once again.” Little said that only 30 percent of supplies come through the two routes closed by Pakistan.
Allen is “comfortable that right now he has what he needs where and when he needs it, and so there have been no major muscle movements to alter the flow of logistics,” Little said.
Logistics is about redundancy and having alternatives, “and we certainly have those,” Little said.
“But that does not diminish the fact that we would certainly like to see those gates reopen. That is a decision that obviously is up to the government of Pakistan.”