Posted September 5, 2008
In a move seen as the latest fallout from Wednesday morning’s US attack on South Waziristan, the Pakistani government has ordered that supply lines to NATO troops in Afghanistan be immediately severed for an indefinite period of time.
The move comes as thousands of protesters marched through South Waziristan’s capital of Wana chanting “death to America”. Officials cited repeated attacks which had made it difficult to provide security for transportation across the only border crossing, but Pakistani media cited other sources who said the move came as the government feared retaliation from South Waziristan tribesmen if they didn’t respond to the US attack.
The strike, which was the first confirmed use of US ground forces in Pakistan since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, killed 20 civilians and received widespread condemnation in Pakistan’s government. American officials have suggested that the attack is just the first of many cross-border missions to be expected in the coming months, as the US has expressed growing discontent with Pakistan’s inability to control its long and mountainous border with Afghanistan. The Defense Minister of key NATO ally Germany was also critical of the US attack during his visit to Pakistan, and warned that “Pakistan’s territorial integrity has to be respected”.
With Pakistan’s sole ground link to Afghanistan now closed to them, NATO may be more reliant than ever on Russia for the transportation of non-military supplies to the war-torn country at a time when US-Russian relations are at a post-Cold War low. And while Russia has promised not to block NATO’s overland transport, President Bush’s threat to “punish” Moscow over the recent war with Georgia may put the route in further jeopardy.--MORE--"
Also see: Russia to Cut Off NATO Supply Lines to Afghanistan
And here is some insightful commentary:
"Looks as though we're now at war against Pakistan. How the blazes did that happen?!?
It's simple: this administration suffers from the kind of arrogance which makes it blind to the potential consequences of any of its actions.
And here's the irony: with this closure of supply lines to NATO in Afghanistan, the US and NATO will have to depend upon Russia even more intensely now for transport of non-military supplies.
This is really going to prove an interesting time, considering that NATO and the US have appeared to do everything in their collective power to tick Russia off over both the nuclear shield in Eastern Europe, and in their response to Georgia's military aggression against Southern Ossetia.
Sane, far-sighted foreign policy analysts would have seen situation in Pakistan coming from miles away. However, sanity and far-sightedness have never been the hallmarks of this administration, as the last 8 years have so clearly and painfully demonstrated. -- Webmaster of Wake the Flock Up"
MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia does not want its relations with the United States to deteriorate and is ready to cooperate with Washington on strategic issues, the Russian foreign minister told CNN.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration is poised to withdraw an agreement with Russia on nuclear trade as punishment for Russia's military action last month against US ally Georgia, a State Department source said Friday.