While the media fail to grasp the strategic picture, you can bet the Pentagon hasn’t missed the signs. No trucks are moving out of our vast truck stop terminal in Peshawar. The fuel for our Humvee fleet, without which travel and patrol outside the cities is near impossible, is stored in a huge tank farm, subject to periodic attack by Pakistani Taliban and other jihadist elements. The ammunition and rations needed to sustain the fighting are stored in containers awaiting local truckers to take them across the Khyber Pass, on a road that no longer exists. The flooding of this historic monsoon has destroyed every bridge across the canyons of the route below the tunnel.
Nothing larger than a mule can traverse the local maze of smuggler trails and those are largely in the hands of Taliban supporters in the remaining high altitude villages. The Khyber Pass is closed for the immediate future, meaning several years at best.
Not that it makes much difference. Further downstream, the roads from Karachi, 1,500 miles of rough trucking on the best of days, are also a memory. The Indus River, normally smile or less wide, is now 18 miles across and taking the levees and dykes away all the way down to the plains of Punjab and Sind. In Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan and the entry
port for our military shipping, flooding to the second story has crippled the port and its shore side facilities. We can’t even off-load the guns and ammo for our up country war, much less deliver them overland to the front.
Last spring the Kirghistanis held us up for big bucks and development of a highway through their country, but the road has yet to be built beyond a camel track segment of the old Silk Road. Even when opened, it will only reach the most western provinces of Afghanistan above the Panshir Valley, land of the opium fueled Northern Alliance. That leaves the only land access through Iran, whose cooperation with the U.S. war effort next door is doubtful.
The current public relations tour by Gen. David Petraeus, selling the prospect for success after we secure Kandahar and Halmand in the Pashtun southern region, is smoke and mirrors. The long planned offensive will not happen this fall or any time before next summer, if at all.
The war in Afghanistan is lost and we can blame Mother Nature for the defeat.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.