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Gulnara Karimova, U.S. military subcontractor?

The problems with U.S. military supply lines in Pakistan have raised the possibility that the U.S. and NATO will be forced to increase their use of the Northern Distribution Network, as EurasiaNet's Deirdre Tynan reports today. A spokeswoman for U.S. Transportation Command says the problems in Pakistan won't force a significant increase in NDN traffic. But some disagree; one company put out a press release touting the new opportunities provided by the Pakistan closure:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- FMN Logistics today responds to Pakistan's closing of its border and transport routes by bringing attention to the availability of the Northern Distribution Network as a safe and reliable route for transporting cargo into Afghanistan.

"With the recent developments in Pakistan it is vital that a safe alternative for supplying FOB's and organizations operating within Afghanistan exist. The NDN offers a series of commercially-based logistical arrangements connecting Baltic and Caspian ports with Afghanistan via Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus," said Harry Eustace, Jr. CEO of FMN Logistics.

"FMN has been on the ground since the beginning of the NDN and we have just completed our 1,000th container shipment using this route. In fact, FMN has delivered more consignments to NATO and US Forces than any other freight forwarder operating on the NDN. As concerns continue to grow about the Pakistani supply routes, the NDN and FMN's capabilities there are crucial to the continuing support of United States and NATO Forces and their prime service contractors," Eustace continued.

FMN is the only full-service, American-owned and managed logistics provider with boots on the ground in all of the former Soviet Stans as well as Afghanistan.

If FMN sounds familiar, it's probably because they have been the subject of some controversy, being connected to Zeromax, the holding company with close ties to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of President Islam Karimov.

So will the U.S. military be further lining GooGoosha's pockets? You can't blame TRANSCOM for playing the idea down.

Gulnara Karimova, U.S. military subcontractor?

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