Even while violence is flaring up again in Iraq, the US is still planning on leaving Afghanistan in the near future. Most people may not realize it at first, but this move will significantly reduce the demand on logistics in the area.
On the news, reporters often focus only on the men, women, and big, flashy equipment being moved to a war zone. It’s hard to blame them for overlooking one of the things we take advantage of every day: the supplies that keep us and our jobs functioning.
Wars are expensive and heavy on consumption, so they have always required huge amounts of supplies to keep going. Plus, those supplies almost always have to be brought in from someplace else, especially in a modern war. In Afghanistan’s case, food, vehicles, ammunition, spare parts, weapons, building materials, and absolutely everything else must be somehow transported thousands of miles by air, sea, and land to its destination. The structures that keep this operation running is mind-boggling.
So what happens when the need for that massive supply chain all but disappears? The companies in charge have to scale back their operations. This means reducing warehouse space, staffing, inventory, and changing contracts. Logistics always fly so low under the radar that this might not make headlines—but this story shows that the effects of leaving Afghanistan are wider than most people imagine.