War effort unaffected by Pak route closure: Pentagon
WASHINGTON (PAN): There has been no operational impact on the war against terror in Afghanistan even after the closure of the two NATO supply routes by Pakistan for more than 12 days, the Pentagon said.
"The focus right now and the state of policy of this administration is to support the war effort, to transition to Afghan lead and to take our surge forces down by the end of the summer," the Pentagon press secretary said on Thursday.
George Little told reporters they were supporting the Afghans and going after the militants. He believed that effort was going very well, despite challenges created by the closure of supply routes since November 26, when NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had strong confidence in ISAF Commander Gen. John Allen's strategy on the military front and how he was engaging Afghan and other partners in the coalition.
"So that's where US policy is at this stage. It's important to note that we're in an ongoing series of discussions with the Afghans on the nature of a long-term strategic relationship, and we hope to move forward on that front," Little remarked.
Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain John Kirby, said the US would make sure its troops in Afghanistan received in time what they needed. "This is a war, so we're going to make sure the troops get what they need, when and where they need it."
About 30 percent of the supplies went through the two routes, Kirby said, adding so far US and NATO commanders were comfortable. "So there have been no major muscle movements to alter the flow of logistics."
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