What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ISAF logistics: Reloaded (through Uzbekistan)

Looks like our Ministry picked an interesting day for the publication of its background notes on ISAF logistics. On the very same day those were posted here, answers were delivered to some of the questions that were raised, in the form of developments in Uzbekistan.

We shall provide a vital link here, as well as two excerpts, revealing some of the most important details:

"Uzbek President Islam Karimov revealed on May 11 that a cargo airport in the city of Navoi is already being used for the airborne transport of NATO non-lethal supplies destined for coalition forces in Afghanistan."


"Goods flying across the Pacific will be carried by Korean Air’s Boeing 747-400s; goods requiring air transport from northern Europe will be by flown by Uzbekistan Airways’ Airbus 300-600s or Ilyushin-76s from Navoi to Afghanistan. As of late April, Uzbekistan Airways has reportedly been leasing the Airbus 300-600s from Korean Air.

Korean Air claimed it could get non-military goods from Europe to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar by plane in 12 hours, and from the east coast of America to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 25.5 hours."

The latter part of the article at Eurasianet focuses on how this is a major success for Foggy Bottom, over the Russians, who now spent 2.15 billion largely counter-productively on Kyrgyz hydropower projects that cause concerns on the (downstream) Uzbek side.

This Ministry would never deny an achievement out of jealousy over another (ministry, department, or whatever). It is not that sort of ministry. But even this Ministry has to caution readers not to lose sight of the fact that with a throughput of 300 tons per day, the Uzbek Navoi airbase will only handle some 182,500 109,500 tons per year. This equals 8,690 5,214* TEU containers (if one divides the figure given in tons by 21), out of as much as 70,000 needed overall.

In other words, it will still take Closely Observed Trains from Russia, or jingle trucks from Pakistan, or both, to get what ISAF needs in Afghanistan.

* The Ministry expresses regret over messing up its notes: the 182,500 and 8,690 figures were for 500 tons' throughput per day.


b said...

Manas was more important for having tankers there that refueled planes flying over Afghanistan.

The South Koreans will not provide that service from Navoi so there is still a major problem.

Péter MARTON said...

Indeed! The 24/7 air presence requires plenty of logistical support itself.

Logistics Glasgow said...

Anything of this nature has to be centered on the logistics behind it.