Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Pakistan Two Step…

December 21st, 2011 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

The Pakistan dance…

Since the times of Alexander the Great, getting logistics into Afghanistan has been a tremendous nightmare.  You have a landlocked country where most of our supplies come through a place called the Torkham Gate which links Afghanistan to Pakistan over the Khyber Pass.  This choke point in Nangarhar is a major problem for the US and another reason we should reconsider who our “Friends” truly are.

I got this email from a buddy over there who is working with the Afghan National Border Police right there.  It seems that the problems that plagued us while I was there in ’08 are still ongoing today.

“Kabul is pissed because the ‘Merican draw down will result in something
like a $14BN loss to their economy.  Their economy has seen roughly 11%
annual growth over the last 5 years.

In other news, and I admit, I haven’t been able to see what most of you
are writing about, Pakistan has blocked ISAF trucks from crossing
Torkham gate from Pakistan into Afghanistan.  These trucks are what
provide the majority of our equipment and life support.  The pakis are
demanding something like $1750 per truck to be allowed transit, and
there are currently over 1000 trucks stuck there (and as they are
sitting there, they get pilfered, and attacked by Taliban.  These are
contracted vehicles, so the drivers are just as likely as not to say
“f**k it” and leave, with or without their payloads, and even if they
stay, we pay them extra for their trouble.

Pakistan is literally holding needed supplies, and trying to keep our
forces hostage.  These are, if you’ll recall, the same “partners” in the
war on terror who didn’t know (*ahem*) bin Laden was living right
outside their version of the war college.  We kill bands of insurgents
every day, and if they are anywhere near the border, Pak mil suddenly
claims they were Pakistani forces.  Even though we clear any kinetic
strikes close to the border (within 4km on our side) through the
Pakistan military liaison.

Can we please tell India that they are welcome to go f**k Pakistan up?
I get that Pakistan is a nuclear power, so we can’t exactly bully them,
but last I checked, we) have ICBMs, and they don’t; b) are the only
country to ever use nukes in warfare; and c) already have an Army
sitting on their border.  Any commander in chief with balls would just
order one or two of his brigades to seize OUR, taxpayer-provided
equipment, and transport it into Afghanistan, with ROE that clearly
states to remove any obstacles to that movement.  Then we would cut all
funding and diplomatic ties with them, seize any Pakistani owned assets
in the US, embargo all of their goods, and sink any ships they have,
military or commercial.  Just for giggles, we’d then drop big ass bombs
all along their border in the “training camps” their military has (which
look an awful like insurgent training camps, given that they are full of
insurgents training, and not Pakistani military.)”

This is the level of frustration that our guys have to deal with over there on a daily basis.

I can remember eating dinner with a Navy Supply Officer sent out to investigate this sort of thing one night, who was describing how they rip us off every day.

SupO: “So every gallon of gas that we use costs like 70 to 120 dollars a gallon.”

Me: Sounds of my food choking me as hands slap my back to dislodge it.  “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT COSTS THAT MUCH???”

SupO: “Oh yeah, we truck most of it over from Pakistan.  We pay X amount for the driver to bring the gas.  As Pakistan gets rich off of the “Tolls” they charge, our drivers will then try to get more cash on the side.  So they were selling say half a tank full of gas on the black market, I’m talking 18 wheeler size tankers.  Then they filled it with water to top it off.”

Me:  “So we are paying for contaminated gas right?”

SupO: “No they test it. Well, they do now after getting a couple bad loads…Anyway, the drivers claimed they didn’t know what was going on.”

Me: “How do you fight that?”

SupO: “We did all sorts of stuff and each time the criminal masterminds over there would come up with different ways to skirt the system.  We weigh the trucks before they leave, they take gas off and add lead bumpers to the rigs to compensate for the missing gas at the final weigh in.  We add locks, they make copies that fit the keys we have, it is a never ending story.  Then if we aren’t getting robbed by the drivers, we’re getting raped by the Pakistani Authorities charging outrageous fee’s to access their points.”

Me:  “I wonder how long this will go on?” (thinking surely the boys at State will fix this dilemma…yeah right)

SupO: “There will be a lot of guys getting rich off of this war, off of our taxpayer money and they aren’t American contractors.  Until we leave, we’ll get raped just like they’ve done to every power to arrive in these parts since Alexander the Great.”

After his conversation, I started reading everything I could about the occupations of Afghanistan by other powers.  Funny how the problems that plagued Alexander the Great, the Brits and Russians are the same time tested rat traps we are in now.  Maybe we should pack up, leave and start B-52 strikes on the border like my buddy says until our “Allies” move troops from the border of India over to the west and deal with problems there.  Until then, we’ll continue to get fleeced to fund a war against terror until we are broke…

Semper Fi,

Taco

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