US Transportation Command and US Special Operations Command leaders recently told House legislators they are ready for any decision the President makes regarding Afghanistan. “The fact of the matter is, sir, we have a plan to deal with every contingency. However, if we do go to zero, and there is no special operations component left in Afghanistan, it will certainly make it more difficult to be able to deal with the threat that we know is inherent” in the region, SOCOM boss Adm. William McRaven told members of the House Armed Services Committee on Feb. 27. Air Force Gen. William Fraser, TRANSCOM commander, said during the same hearing that the command is “postured to achieve the President’s directed reduction in Afghanistan by December 2014.” He said partnerships between TRANSCOM and regional allies have created a variety of retrograde options, including ground movement through the Northern Distribution Network, and moving equipment and supplies through Pakistan (the most cost effective option.) “We have recently opened up and got agreement again for another year of a number of those transit agreements, as well as over flight agreements,” said Fraser. He added, “We have options, we have capacity, and we have capability, and we developed all of this in order to respond to whatever the decision is.” (Fraser prepared statement) (McRaven prepared statement) (See also Afghanistan Contingency Planning.)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.