Afghanistan: US is expanding traffic on central Asian supply network

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The United States is expanding its use of the Northern Distribution Network to ship military goods through Central Asia to Afghanistan, top State and Defense Department officials have told Congress. US officials also reiterated their belief that the NDN can serve as a catalyst for economic development in Central Asia.

“We are steadily increasing and looking at increasing more our traffic on the NDN,” said David Sedney, the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, at a hearing December 15, called “Reevaluating US Policy in Central Asia.” The hearing was held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

Washington is now shipping about 350 shipping containers per week by rail through Central Asia into Afghanistan, according to Sedney. That is up more than three times from this summer, when the military was shipping 108 containers per week in June and 134 per week in July.

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