U.S. pays for transit through Central Asia
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 14According to Eurasianet, the United States Department of Defense is sending approximately 500 million USD to Central Asian countries, to fund transit of cargo on its way to the international mission in Afghanistan.
Central Asian countries Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan allow the U.S. and NATO to transport their non-military goods using those states' railways and motorways, as well as provide airspace for military flights. After Pakistan closed its Afghan border to NATO in 2011, Central Asian countries have served as a more reliable route, although one that is much more expensive. Transportation of one shipping container now costs 17 500 USD, whereas transit though Pakistan cost only 7 200 USD.
In November, NATO helicopters mistakenly attacked a Pakistani checkpoint, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers, causing Pakistan to renege on its transportation agreement.