Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seeking Lessons from the September 3rd Taliban Tanker Incident in Kunduz

The news cycle had come and gone on this report of Taliban-hijacked fuel tankers and NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) attack on them which destroyed them, plus the hijackers, plus a large number of civilians gathered to get a share of the fuel provided by the oh-so-generous Taliban who "only have Afghan peoples' best interests in mind." Actually, it's still in the headlines as a NY Times reporter seeking to cover the aftermath was just taken hostage and rescued.

Of course, this incident is about energy, but it's also about so much more. I couldn't figure out how to tackle it until I received this missive from a friend in DOD who is tuned in to such matters:
Talk about a potpourri of issues ... vulnerable energy supply lines, likely third country nationals owning the original fuel trucks, close air support rules of engagement, host country populations needing energy, and now civilian casualties. 
Now ISAF is going to investigate how this all unfolded, with particular attention to the civilian casualties. Takes the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel (FBCF) to a whole new level, wouldn't you say?

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