The United States plans to ship about 100 containers per day to Afghanistan via the so-called Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a transit corridor passing though Russia and Central Asia, the head of US Transportation Command has announced.
Speaking to a US Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in Washington March 17, Gen. Duncan McNabb said 738 containers transported by rail through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan earlier this month had reached Afghanistan and 90 containers had been delivered to Kabul.
According to McNabb, 140 containers currently pass through the Khyber Pass connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan daily. "This year, establishing the Northern Distribution Network, alternative routes to Afghanistan through the Caucasus and Central Asia, has become a high priority," he said adding that "significant progress" had been made in establishing the new transport corridors.
Increasing volatility in Pakistan has forced the US military to reconsider the long-term viability of the Khyber Pass supply route. Supply trucks have been attacked and the route temporarily closed on two occasions this year.