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Russia Forces Kyrgyzstan To Close Pro-US Base

From Reuters:

"Mission accomplished" for U.S. air base in pro-Moscow Kyrgyzstan

By Olga Dzyubenko | March 6, 2014

MANAS TRANSIT CENTER (Reuters) – A U.S. Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan is packing up for closure after more than 12 years of flying troops and cargo in and out of Afghanistan, as Moscow boosts its military clout in the strategic region.

The Manas Transit Center in the ex-Soviet nation’s main civilian airport has been in operation since the end of 2001, serving the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan codenamed Operation Enduring Freedom.

As Kyrgyzstan seeks closer political ties and economic aid from its ex-Soviet overlord [sic!] Russia, the national parliament last June gave Washington until July 2014 to close its base.

Remember, up until just a few days ago, the plan was for the US to maintain a large troop presence in Afghanistan. And, besides, might we not we need to go back there some day?

The logistics hub, employing some 1,200 servicemen, was engaged in aerial refueling, personnel and cargo airlift, as well in humanitarian programs with Kyrgyzstan…

Also known as baksheesh.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 plane attacks on U.S. cities, Moscow said it had no objections to the United States and its allies using Central Asia for deployment and transit of troops and cargo to neighboring Afghanistan. But the Kremlin has since become wary of the foreign military presence in its former imperial backyard…

After his election in 2011, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev assured Moscow the U.S. air base would be shut.

In December 2012 he ratified a deal leasing the base to Russia for 15 years from January 2017, after Moscow agreed to write off some $500 million of Kyrgyz debts…

Neighboring Tajikistan also receives Russian economic aid and ratified a deal in October to extend by three decades Moscow’s military presence on its land, which may face security threats after NATO troops leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

In Kyrgyzstan, Russia operates four installations, including the Kant airbase near the capital Bishkek and a naval test site at Lake Issyk Kul in the Tien Shan mountains…

This is all part of Putin’s re-assembling of the Soviet Union. While we just sit back and watch.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, March 7th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Russia Forces Kyrgyzstan To Close Pro-US Base”

  1. Obama: “Where’s this Kierigstan thingy they’re talking about?”
    Senior Advisor: “We’ll have to get a map and a military attache ..”
    Valerie Jarrett: “Sit down and shut up. You’re not cleared to know where .. whatever that is .. is ..”


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