Russia to permit materiel to pass

On its way out, the Bush Administration added another significant foreign policy accomplishment:

Russia and neighboring Central Asian nations have agreed to let supplies pass through their territory to American soldiers in Afghanistan, lessening Washington’s dependence on dangerous routes through Pakistan, a top U.S. commander said Tuesday.

Securing alternative routes to landlocked Afghanistan has taken on added urgency this year as the United States prepares to double troop numbers there to 60,000 to battle a resurgent Taliban eight years after the U.S.-led invasion. . .

U.S. and NATO forces get up to 75 percent of their “non-lethal” supplies such as food, fuel and building materials from shipments that traverse Pakistan, a volatile, nuclear-armed country. . .

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus said America had struck deals with Russia and several Central Asian states close to or bordering Afghanistan during a tour of the region in the past week. . .

Petraeus gave few details, but NATO and U.S. officials have said recently they were close to securing transit agreements with Russia and the patchwork of Central Asia states to the north of Afghanistan.

Analysts say the United States’ dependence on Pakistani supply routes means it has little leverage to push Islamabad too hard on issues of bilateral concern, such as the campaign against al-Qaida.

(Via Hot Air.)

This is great, but we still need delicate diplomacy in the region.  We certainly don’t want to become dependent on Russia either.

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