Pakistan Border Closing Costing US Over $3M a Day
Alternative route costs $100M extra a month, Panetta says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2012 2:27 AM CDT
Updated Jun 14, 2012 4:50 AM CDT
A convoy of NATO trucks enter Pakistani tribal territory before the border was closed.   (AP Photo/Qazi Rauf)

(Newser) – Pakistan's closure of its border with Afghanistan to NATO convoys is costing the US an extra $100 million a month to get supplies in, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a Senate committee yesterday. Pakistan closed the border late last year after a cross-border strike killed 24 of its soldiers. While a new price structure for NATO convoys has been agreed on, Pakistan also wants an apology, the Washington Post reports.

Panetta, asked if he would support stopping US aid to Pakistan—which is expected to reach $3.5 billion next year—said he would place conditions on aid "based on what we expect them to do" instead of ending the aid. Pakistan was the main route for NATO supplies for the Afghanistan war before last year's incident, but most supplies are now brought in through Central Asia and Russia at a significantly higher cost.

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