December 31, 2014:
The United States recently announced details of contracts for air freight services for 2015. One interesting aspect of this was that the amount of money for the 2015 air freight was a third of what it was in 2014. The reason for that was the withdrawal of nearly all American troops from Afghanistan. That eliminates a major need for military air freight. That was important because the corruption connected with the trucking of American and NATO supplies to Afghanistan via Pakistan frequently led to interruptions and disruptions. Corruption in the Pakistani trucking industry and efforts by Afghan and Pakistani tribes as well as Afghan customs officials to extort money from the truckers made the truck routes less reliable than the much more expensive air freight. The Pakistani government, particularly the army, profited from the trucking operations, both legally and otherwise. When the interruptions become too frequent and persistent the Americans used air freight. This demoralized the Pakistanis and Afghans trying to extract more money to let the trucks pass, who always believed the Americans would not rely on the much more expensive air freight for long periods. But that’s what the Americans did and eventually the border bandits realized they were losing a lot of money, gave in and it was business as usual until the next outbreak of crippling greed.