Lead story, A1, Sunday's Arizona Republic: "U.S. alters, expands Afghan supply routes: U.S. fearful Pakistan may cut off access"
This is utterly shameful. Fearful? We're fearful? What kind of cowards are running our foreign policy? Oh, we're making contingency plans, sure. For airlifting supplies. And for routing them through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. Great. Except airlift costs 10 times as much as trucking through Pakistan. And Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan et al. will require substantial baksheesh -- whoops, aid -- for allowing us to use their countries as staging areas.
In a sane world, a deputy assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs would get the Chief Kleptocrat of Pakistan, Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, on the horn and address him as follows: "Mr. Prime Minister, my country has provided $20.7 billion to your country since 2002, of which funds you and your cronies have appropriated your tithe. The supply routes and border crossings will remain open, or you can look elsewhere for your licorice. Are we clear, Mr. Prime Minister?"
But no. The U.S. is fearful.
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.