Tuesday Jul 03, 201205:18 AM GMT
Pentagon demands higher fund to compensate for closed Pakistan routes
Fuel tankers, which were used to carry fuel for US-led forces in Afghanistan, are parked at a compound in Karachi, May 23, 2012.
Fuel tankers, which were used to carry fuel for US-led forces in Afghanistan, are parked at a compound in Karachi, May 23, 2012.
Tue Jul 3, 2012 3:55AM
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The Pentagon has requested the US Congress to shift billions of dollars in defense budget to compensate for the additional fuel costs of transporting supplies to Afghanistan, following Pakistan’s refusal to reopen US-led NATO supply routes.


In an 82-page letter to congressional defense committees, the Pentagon demanded "reprogramming" $8.2 billion in funds which were previously approved to bankroll “higher priority” items, the Pentagon said Monday.

There were "some unanticipated costs that we just didn't foresee," Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby told reporters at a press conference.

He added that a large portion of the requested fund was due to the expenditures "associated with the extended closure of the ground lines of communication" in Pakistan.

Islamabad closed the border crossings used to transfer US-led NATO supplies to Afghanistan in November 2011, after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in US-led airstrikes on two checkpoints on the Afghan border. Pakistan had been the main supply route for US-led forces occupying Afghanistan from October 2001 to November 2011.

Last month, NATO reached agreements with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to allow the Western military alliance to transport vehicles and other military hardware from Afghanistan.

NATO previously made an agreement with Russia on an exit route, permitting the alliance to send tens of thousands of vehicles and supplies from Afghanistan to Europe later this year.

Yet the Pentagon has argued that the additional funds are necessary. “Without this funding the Army runs the risk of an interruption in the flow of supplies, subsistence and mail to deployed war fighters,” read the request sent to the Congress.

GJH/MF/HJL
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