This video is called Amnesty and Turkmenistan.
Special representative: NATO attaches great importance to Turkmenistan: here.
As the USA and other NATO countries bomb Afghanistan into
oppression of women, corruption, mass hunger, bank fraud, electoral fraud … err … “democracy” … so sorry I did not speak NATOspeak … they do so in alliances with regional dictatorial governments.
By Deirdre Tynan:
Central Asia: Turkmenistan Could Become Key Cog in NDN Supply Route for Afghanistan
April 12, 2011 – 12:56pm
The United States wants to significantly expand traffic on the Northern Distribution Network, the rail, road and air network that ferries supplies across Central Asia to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. As Pentagon planners and commercial carriers contemplate their transit options, attention is focusing on Turkmenistan.
The Pentagon reportedly intends to ship 75 percent of all non-military cargo destined for Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) by the end of 2011. Just a year ago, NDN was handling 35 percent of Afghan-bound supplies, and its share is presently about 50 percent. US military officers met with commercial shippers in late-January to discuss ways to rapidly increase the volume on the NDN. Pakistan for years served as the primary US conduit for supplies headed to Afghanistan, but that route of late has become increasingly vulnerable to Islamic militant attacks.
According to Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy, Washington aims to reduce reliance on the Pakistani Ground Line of Communication. It appears the US initiative has the backing of regional partners, including Russia. “We are working, along with the Department of State, to secure the additional approvals that we need from countries participating in the Northern Distribution Network that will allow us to further reduce the load we place on Pakistan’s infrastructure and provide additional routes for our personnel and cargo transiting into Afghanistan,” Flournoy told the US Senate Committee on Armed Services in mid-March.
“We have already secured necessary approvals from Russia and we are negotiating with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to conclude further agreements and arrangements regarding NDN routes that they control,” Flournoy added.
A US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) representative declined to get into the specifics of NDN expansion plans. “We continually work with our commercial carriers to ensure the overall distribution network is flexible, responsive and viable,” said Cynthia Bauer, TRANSCOM spokesperson, on March 30.
Turkmenistan’s role in the NDN has been until now low key. It has not signed a transit agreement with either the United States or NATO, but the Turkmen government allows Ashgabat’s airport to be used a refueling stop for US military planes. Commercial companies also transit bulk fuel deliveries destined for bases in Afghanistan through Turkmenistan, and US government contracted fuel suppliers occasionally buy fuel from Turkmenistan and they are able to do so tax free.
If US Central Command and interested commercial parties have their way, Turkmenistan’s road and rail infrastructure will soon be integrated into NDN’s transit network. Maersk Line Ltd, a US government contractor, has readied a “Northern Europe Truck Route via Turkmenistan” stretching from the Baltic port of Riga, Latvia, to Serhetabat-Turgundi on the Turkmen-Afghan border.
“It is common practice for the industry to assess alternative routes to determine what would provide the best solution for its customers in terms of velocity to market and cost. The Northern Europe Truck route via Turkmenistan is a concept that is being evaluated as an alternative option for the Northern Distribution Network,” said Celine Gordon, a spokeswoman for Maersk Line Ltd. However, the company does not expect to use the route “in the foreseeable future,” she added.
Turgundi on the Afghan-Turkmen border could emerge as an import/export node, according to solicitation documents from US Surface Deployment Distribution Command, which seeks “Third Party Logistics Support Services” to monitor “US military-sponsored shipments.” Hairaton on the Afghan-Uzbek border and Sher Khan on the Afghan-Tajik border currently operate as the main points of entry into Afghanistan.
“Additional entry and exit nodes may be added at the discretion of the US Government. There will be an average of 5,000 import conveyances transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month (to include shipments arriving via the Northern Distribution Network) and 500 export conveyances. This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” the 2010 solicitation stated.
“All military classes of supply will be shipped; exceptions include weapons, weapons systems, ammunition, sensitive items, sensitive medical items, and bulk fuel,” an industry questions and answer supplement added.
Other commercial shippers, speaking to EurasiaNet.org on condition of anonymity, described Turkmenistan’s integration into the NDN as vital to the overall success of the expansion plan. Shipping goods via Turkmenistan would cut transit times and costs. “The US is pushing hard for this, it makes a lot of sense,” one regionally based planner said. Turkmenistan has long been a fickle negotiating partner — not only for Western states, but for Russia as well. Whether or not Ashgabat will consent to a greater NDN role remains uncertain.
Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.
Workers will be forced to visit racecourses in Turkmenistan in anticipation of the nation’s forthcoming Horse Racing Day, celebrated every last Sunday in April, Chronicles of Turkmenistan newspaper reported on Monday: here.
Endless War and Empire: Your Tax Dollars at Work: here.
The War in Afghanistan: A Burden Taxpayers Can’t Afford: here.
10-Year Old Afghan Girl Claims She Was Raped: here.
With violence against them increasing, 75 women committed self-immolation last year, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Sunday: here.
Guantanamo Psychologist Led Rendition and Imprisonment of Afghan Boys, Complaint Charges. Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: “Four Ohio residents filed court papers last week seeking to compel the Ohio State Psychology Board to investigate Dr. Larry James, a retired Army colonel and former chief psychologist for the intelligence command at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, who oversaw the brutal torture of detainees, including children. The motion was filed by Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the four residents, which includes a psychologist, a veteran, a minister and a long-time mental health advocate”: here.
The Ministry of Defence must release some information on people held or captured by British forces in Afghanistan, according to an administrative appeals tribunal ruling: here.
USA: Oregon labor leaders to Congress: end the war: here.
Robert Naiman, Truthout: “When Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold lost his bid for re-election, advocates working to end the war in Afghanistan lost their champion in the Senate. It was Feingold’s office that introduced the bill, introduced the amendment, circulated the letter, led the lobbying of other offices and led the charge in the media. Now California Sen. Barbara Boxer has reintroduced Feingold’s bill requiring the president to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – a timetable with an end date. So far, Sens. Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Kirsten Gillibrand and Sherrod Brown have signed on as co-sponsors of Senator Boxer’s bill. The reintroduction of this bill is extremely timely and important, for two reasons”: here.
THE US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan’s spy agency of having links with Taleban fighters who are targeting US forces: here.
Kazakh Money in Congress? Jake Wiens, Truthout: “It has all the twists of a Hollywood blockbuster: shadowy international figures, a plot to overthrow an oil-rich Central Asian country, an attempted assassination, allegations of kidnapping and murder and a battle in an American courtroom for control of billions of dollars in seized assets. At the center of this saga is a bitter family feud that pits Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev – a strongman who has ruled the obscure former Soviet republic for more than 20 years – against his former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev. And if that was where the story ended, it might have stayed an inconspicuous foreign squabble with no relevance to the American public”: here.