Keeping an Eye on Pakistan

If confirmed as head of US Transportation Command, Gen. William Fraser said one of his top priorities would be to have alternative means available for supplying US troops in Afghanistan in case the current, primary logistics routes through Pakistan are disrupted. Roughly 35 percent of supplies move into Afghanistan via Pakistan today, with the rest arriving through the northern distribution network—that traverses Central Asia—or via some airlift, said Fraser during his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. When pressed by ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Fraser acknowledged that changing routes would temporarily disrupt the flow of supplies into theater and that it could potentially lead to higher costs. But he said he would have to “delve deeper into the issue,” if confirmed, in order to provide specifics. Fraser said he would consider expanding the NDN and strive overall to “secure diplomatic and physical accesses to ground and airspace infrastructure for logistics,” according to his prepared answers to advance committee questions.