The Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a Europe-to-Asia resupply route for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was promoted by its architects as an economic development vehicle that could promote cohesion among Central Asian states. Reality is proving vastly more problematic than American war planners anticipated, however.
The outbreak of inter-ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan is just the latest source of uncertainty for the NDN. [For background see EursasiaNet’s archive]. Long before the fighting began in Osh and Jalal-abad, the supply route was experiencing distribution and logistical delays, including at the Manas Transit Center outside the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. [For background see EursaiaNet’s archive].
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.