WASHINGTON May 9 The Pentagon has alternatives
to the key land routes through Pakistan used to supply U.S.
forces in Afghanistan and is not wholly dependent on those
routes, a top U.S. official said on Monday.
"We're confident that we're not dependent upon any
particular single thread, and we can continue to supply the
Afghanistan effort," Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense
for acquisition, technology and logistics, told Reuters.
More strains have emerged in already fragile U.S.-Pakistan
ties after U.S. forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
at a compound near Islamabad, prompting some concerns about the
U.S. military's ability to get supplies to troops fighting in
land-locked country of Afghanistan.
In an interview, Carter downplayed those concerns, noting
that the U.S. military's logistics operation was developed to
deal with unexpected hurdles such as devastating floods
throughout Pakistan last year.
"You've seen when the volcano hit, when the floods in
Pakistan hit, when Haiti happened, that our logistics system
was resilient enough and had enough diversity that we could
shift load from one mode to another," Carter said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Jackie Frank)