Channel 19

Todd Dills

Trucking; the key to Afghanistan stabilization

| November 04, 2009

At least economically, anyway — such is the viewpoint of Washington Post defense correspondent, ForeignPolicy.com blogger and Fiasco author Tom Ricks, expressed in a relatively recent missive on the subject here, titled “Keep on Trucking, Afghanistan.”

“The key to economic reconstruction in Afghanistan,” Ricks writes, “would be restoring its traditional role of carrying goods from South Asia (full of nice cheap consumer goods) to Central Asia (now featuring oil and gas revenues). To do this, the ‘ring road’ that connects the country’s major cities and the spur roads to the borders need to be made relatively safe from bandits, Talibani, and thieving officials.” He’s talking essentially about the vital nature of trucking to modern economies, a reality you know well, I’m sure, but it bears repeating.

He includes a long passage from a proposal written by Johns Hopkins prof and Asia expert Fred Starr that echoes his thoughts on trucking in Afghanistan in the post, worth checking out, likewise a particularly awesome photo of trucks from the region.