Logistics: The Taliban Supply Line


September 12, 2007: Afghan police recently found a ten ton weapons cache near the Iranian border. The material included land mines, RPG rockets, mortar shells, rifles and artillery shells. What was most striking was that most of the Chinese, Russian and Iranian made munitions appeared new. In the past, smaller supplies of weapons had been found coming in from Iran. But this lot represents several truck loads. The location of the weapons was provided by a local man, who preferred to remain anonymous. Local authorities believe the munitions belonged to a gang of weapons smugglers, who sell to anyone who can afford it.

While it's widely known that China, Russia and Iran have corrupt officials willing to sell weapons to gunrunners, Iran doesn't want to see any investigation of how arms smugglers seem to get across the Iranian border so easily. Bribing Iraqi border guards is one thing, but the munitions are apparently coming from Iran in bulk. At first, the Iranians will blame Afghan smuggling gangs, who move major amounts of opium and heroin into Iran. Harder to dismiss are the boasts of captured Taliban, citing the support they are getting from Iran.

What all this does demonstrate is the importance of logistics, and how you get what you need, if you can pay what it costs.


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