Kyrgyzstan is closing US airbase

#1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/2009011...90117080547;_ylt=AnI3J4NitwX_lixhbsE8.nWQOrgF

Kyrgystan will order the closure of a US military airbase used to support operations in Afghanistan "in a matter of days" under pressure from Russia, a senior Kyrgyz official told AFP.

"The presidential decree on the annulment of the agreement with the United States is already prepared. In a matter of days it will be published in the Kyrgyz media," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said Russia had urged Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the base in exchange for financial help to the cash-strapped Central Asian nation.

Russian officials have discussed extending Kyrgyzstan a 300-million-dollar (225-million-euro) loan as well as 1.7 billion dollars of investment in the energy sector of the ex-Soviet republic.

"In exchange for such a large loan the Kremlin asked Bakiyev to voice the decision about the pull-out of the US airbase from Kyrgyzstan before his official visit to Moscow," the official said.
Geopolitical tug-of-war continues. It is not Guanatanamo by the way.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Interesting - cold war here we come! Looks like the detente is comiong to an end, and the Russians would like to see us fail in Afghanistan . . . . . or the septics are being a bit naughty in Kyrgyzstan and have been found out.
 
#3
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
 
#4
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
The December deal the US signed with Ukraine on virtual ownership of Ukraine's gas transporting system and the resulting Gas War with substantial losses for Russian economy?
 
#5
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
China does not like it being there, its got nothing to do with Moscow, Beijing has been piling on the pressure.
 
#6
armchair_jihad said:
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
China does not like it being there, its got nothing to do with Moscow, Beijing has been piling on the pressure.
"The official said Russia had urged Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the base in exchange for financial help to the cash-strapped Central Asian nation.

Russian officials have discussed extending Kyrgyzstan a 300-million-dollar (225-million-euro) loan as well as 1.7 billion dollars of investment in the energy sector of the ex-Soviet republic."
:?
 
#7
Domovoy said:
"The official said Russia had urged Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the base in exchange for financial help to the cash-strapped Central Asian nation.

Russian officials have discussed extending Kyrgyzstan a 300-million-dollar (225-million-euro) loan as well as 1.7 billion dollars of investment in the energy sector of the ex-Soviet republic."
:?

Domovoy mate do you really think that Beijing has no influence in Kyrgyzstan? Or that the Chinese like having the USAF next door? Or that teetering on bankruptcy Russia actualy has real weight there? Russia fcuked them off in 1989 remember?

Put it this way Kyrgzstan is in Beijings DIRECT sphere of influence not some Moscow fantasy of rekindling the Soviet embers with vanishing oil wealth and a 20 kopec version of Stalin .

It never fails to amaze me how Deng's Maxim of 'we should not shine too brightly' continues to render China invisible to 'the usual suspects' on the Worlds stage.
 
#8
armchair_jihad said:
Domovoy said:
"The official said Russia had urged Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the base in exchange for financial help to the cash-strapped Central Asian nation.

Russian officials have discussed extending Kyrgyzstan a 300-million-dollar (225-million-euro) loan as well as 1.7 billion dollars of investment in the energy sector of the ex-Soviet republic."
:?

Domovoy mate do you really think that Beijing has no influence in Kyrgyzstan? Or that the Chinese like having the USAF next door? Or that teetering on bankruptcy Russia actualy has real weight there? Russia fcuked them off in 1989 remember?

Put it this way Kyrgzstan is in Beijings DIRECT sphere of influence not some Moscow fantasy of rekindling the Soviet embers with vanishing oil wealth and a 20 kopec version of Stalin .

It never fails to amaze me how Deng's Maxim of 'we should not shine too brightly' continues to render China invisible to 'the usual suspects' on the Worlds stage.
If it is China's idea why Russia is lobbying it AND paying for it?

I'm not suggesting that China has no influence in Central Asia, but to suggest that C.A. is China's sphere of influence and Russia is near bankrupt is pushing the borders of reality.
 
#9
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
Off the top of my head if more of the alternative routes get closed down and we become more and more reliant on the Russian route then they can put more of a squeeze on us diplomatically by threatening to cancel the deal. So next time they start playing silly beggars with the gas supply or do another Georgia how loudly could we protest if they can turn around and cut off a much needed supply route?

Domovoy said:
If it is China's idea why Russia is lobbying it AND paying for it?

I'm not suggesting that China has no influence in Central Asia, but to suggest that C.A. is China's sphere of influence and Russia is near bankrupt is pushing the borders of reality.
I don't think either of them like having US bases in an area that was until fairly recently a fairly safe flank for them. Both of them would be just as happy to see the US bases gone.

Now not I'm not touching the bankrupt statement but on the sphere of influence bit considering that China shares a fairly long border with Kyrgyzstan and Russia has an independent country in Kazakhstan between them, I'd would have expected China to have the upper hand dealing with them. But I could well be wrong.
 
#10
Brick said:
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
I don't think either of them like having US bases in an area that was until fairly recently a fairly safe flank for them. Both of them would be just as happy to see the US bases gone.

Now not I'm not touching the bankrupt statement but on the sphere of influence bit considering that China shares a fairly long border with Kyrgyzstan and Russia has an independent country in Kazakhstan between them, I'd would have expected China to have the upper hand dealing with them. But I could well be wrong.
Pre Script
Just because China and Kyrgyzstan share a border doesn’t mean China has more influence on it than Russia has; Russia has a long border with Finland yet Finland was never in USSR or Russian zone of influence.

US inspired war in Georgia led to Russia freezing its cooperation with NATO; as soon as an agreement between NATO and Russia on safe routes to Afghanistan was reached US signed an agreement with Ukraine that gave US the right to maintain Ukraine’s gas transit system Gas War insured with Ukraine refusing to open taps to let gas flow into its system… Now Russia is urging Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the US base… A pattern?

From what I read and heard, it is in Russia’s interests to see the back of Taliban, and initially Russia gave NATO its full support, but since US “privatized” Afghanistan …

I found the following most interesting:

26 June 2001: India and Iran will "facilitate" US and Russian plans for "limited military action" against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime.
Indian officials say that India and Iran will only play the role of "facilitator" while the US and Russia will combat the Taliban from the front with the help of two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to push Taliban lines back to the 1998 position 50 km away from Mazar-e-Sharief city in northern Afghanistan.
http://prisonplanet.com/india_in_anti_taliban_military_plan.html
But what clouds judgment is the geopolitics of the war. The war provided a context for the establishment of a US military presence in Central Asia; NATO's first-ever "out of area" operation; a turf which overlooks the two South Asian nuclear weapon states of India and Pakistan, Iran and China's restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; a useful toehold on a potential transportation route for Caspian energy bypassing Russia and Iran, etc. The situation around Iran; the US's "Great Central Asia" policy and containment strategy towards Russia; NATO's expansion - these have become added factors.
The interplay of these various geopolitical factors has made the war opaque. Major regional powers - Russia, Iran and India - do not see the US or NATO contemplating a pullout from Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. Tehran has been alleging that the US strategy in Afghanistan is essentially to perpetuate its military presence.
http://www.japanfocus.org/_M_K_Bhad...aliban_Resurgence_and_the_Geopolitics_of_Oil/

As U.S. unilateralism has asserted the role of the United States as the sole global superpower, the rest of the world is exploring a variety of ways of pushing back. One is the creation of several new regional security consortiums which are independent of the U.S. One of the most important is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security alliance led by Russia and China, with several non-voting members including India.
Russia is promoting its vision of a multipolar world hinging on the consensus-based decision making that it wants steered through global institutions such as the United Nations. Chinese President Hu Jintao has outlined a similar vision.
As the SCO asserts for a role in post-Taliban Afghanistan, it wants to see the U.S.-led forces leave Kabul. At its annual summit in July 2005 in Astana, Kazakhstan, the SCO called on the U.S. to give a timetable for a pullout of its troops from Afghanistan. "As the active military phase in the antiterror operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, the SCO would like the coalition's members to decide on the deadline for the use of the temporary infrastructure and for their military contingents' presence in those countries."17 The SCO's demands were based on the assumption that the Taliban has been defeated; hence, there is no need for the continued presence of U.S. and NATO troops in the region. The U.S., however, has since built several military bases across Afghanistan, to fight Taliban's insurgency and al Qaeda's terrorism. The U.S.' expanded military presence further fueld suspicions among SCO member states--especially China and Russia--that the U.S. and NATO are in the region for the long haul.
The SCO has since begun developing its own Afghan policy with the founding of the Afghanistan Contact Group (ACG) to strengthen relationship between the SCO and Kabul. The Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who regularly attends the SCO's annual summits, has positively responded to the SCO's initiative.
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4853

"a delegation of Taliban officials, shepherded by Unocal... made an all-expenses paid visit to the U.S. There was even that side trip to Mt. Rushmore, while the company was negotiating a $1.9 billion pipeline that would bring Central Asian oil and natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan...

Those pipeline negotiations only broke down definitively in August 2001, one month before, well, you know… and, as Toronto's Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin put it, "Washington was furious, leading to speculation it might take out the Taliban. After 9/11, the Taliban, with good reason, were removed -- and pipeline planning continued with the Karzai government. U.S. forces installed bases near Kandahar, where the pipeline was to run. A key motivation for the pipeline was to block a competing bid involving Iran, a charter member of the 'axis of evil.'" ...

It turns out that, in April, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (acronymically TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a U.S.-backed $7.6 billion pipeline. It would, of course, bypass Iran and new energy giant Russia, carrying Turkmeni natural gas and oil to Pakistan and India. Construction would, theoretically, begin in 2010. Put the emphasis on "theoretically," because the pipeline is, once again, to run straight through Kandahar and so directly into the heartland of the Taliban insurgency.

Pepe Escobar of Asia Times: ... as in Iraq, American (and NATO) troops could one day be directly protecting (and dying for) the investments of Big Oil in a new version of the old imperial "Great Game" with a special modern emphasis on pipeline politics."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174952
 
#11
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090119/pl_afp/kyrgyzstanusmilitaryafghanistanunrest_20090119145559

General David Petraeus, commander of US Central Command, told reporters that he had met with Kyrgyz officials and discussed the importance of the Manas airbase, as the United States moves to step up its military presence in Afghanistan.

"I noted our desire to increase the benefits that accrue to your country from Manas and the other activities," he said, noting that Kyrgyzstan received 150 million dollars (115 million euros) worth of US assistance per year.

"We will be sending a team of senior officers here in February to discuss in concrete ways various programmes that we can undertake," Petraeus added.

On Saturday, a senior Kyrgyz official told AFP that the country would close Manas airbase "in a matter of days" under pressure from Russia.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7837686.stm

The Manas base - just outside the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek - supports operations in Afghanistan and is the only American one in Central Asia.

It has been the focus of repeated street protests after controversies such as the shooting dead of a Kyrgyz man by a US soldier in 2006.
...
There has been repeated speculation that Kyrgyzstan would close the base - particularly in light of the $2bn (£1.4bn) in investment and loans Russia has offered the impoverished nation.

Kyrgyz officials have been repeatedly quoted in media, including Russian outlets, as saying that the Kyrgyz president would announce the closure of the base ahead of a visit to Moscow early next month.
 
#12
KGB_resident said:
It is not Guanatanamo by the way.
We know, we know.

No need to panic though. If they kick out western troops, we'll just ban the import of Borat style mankinis - that will cripple their economy.

 
#13
#14
KGB_resident said:
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/22/Decision_due_on_US_base_in_Kyrgyzstan/UPI-35171232645463/

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev will make a decision on the future of a U.S. military base in Kyrgyzstan by next month, an official said Thursday.
I suppose that there is a subtle political game. Moscow (troough its Kyrgyz puppet) tests pres.Obama. Would he make a request to preserve the base?
"The SCO, which implicitly opposes the US military and political role in Central Asia, hosted several heads of state as guests, including Ahmedinejad, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. The United States sent no representatives to the summit, and the US Embassy in Bishkek closed for two days while the summit took place.

Contrary to some expectations, there was no public mention of the Manas Air Base which the US Air Force operates just a few miles from Bishkek. Manas is the only US military base in an SCO country. At its summit two years ago, the SCO called on American forces to set a timetable for withdrawal from Central Asia...." August 20, 2007 © Eurasianet
 
#15
Brick said:
tiger stacker said:
Since NATO have signed a deal for an alternative supply route with Russia am curious as to the reasons behind this.
Off the top of my head if more of the alternative routes get closed down and we become more and more reliant on the Russian route then they can put more of a squeeze on us diplomatically by threatening to cancel the deal. So next time they start playing silly beggars with the gas supply or do another Georgia how loudly could we protest if they can turn around and cut off a much needed supply route?

Domovoy said:
If it is China's idea why Russia is lobbying it AND paying for it?

I'm not suggesting that China has no influence in Central Asia, but to suggest that C.A. is China's sphere of influence and Russia is near bankrupt is pushing the borders of reality.
I don't think either of them like having US bases in an area that was until fairly recently a fairly safe flank for them. Both of them would be just as happy to see the US bases gone.

Now not I'm not touching the bankrupt statement but on the sphere of influence bit considering that China shares a fairly long border with Kyrgyzstan and Russia has an independent country in Kazakhstan between them, I'd would have expected China to have the upper hand dealing with them. But I could well be wrong.
Russian routes aren't 'alternative', they're 'complementary'. I think Russia is quite happy that it's Western boys and girls fighting and dying in Afghanistan right now - it means they don't have to. That's not to say that they don't enjoy a bit of leverage :(
 
#16
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090203...tan_us_base;_ylt=AuJDZmAj8couOIa77h6EwWlvaA8F

Kyrgyzstan's president said Tuesday that his country is ending U.S. use of a key airbase that supports military operations in Afghanistan.

A U.S. military official in Afghanistan called President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's statement "political positioning" and denied the U.S. presence at the Manas airbase would end anytime soon.
The general has forgotten that it is not Guantanamo.

Ending U.S. access would have potentially far-reaching consequences for U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan, where the United States is preparing to deploy an additional 15,000 troops to shut down the Taliban and al-Qaida.

It would also signal a significant victory for Moscow in its efforts to squeeze the United States out of Central Asia, home to substantial oil and gas reserves and seen by Russia as part of its strategic sphere of influence.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev spoke on a visit to Moscow minutes after Russia announced it was providing the poor Central Asian nation with billions of dollars in aid.
The base could be matter of trade. Russia could allow the base to remain in Kyrgyzstan but in return... what would be done in return?

There is another version, Clown Putins who failed in economy tries to demonstrate his victory over the geopolitical rival to boost his rating.
 
#17
This article makes some interesting points,

Bakiyev Strengthens Control over Armed Forces Ahead of Opposition Revolts

"Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s recent personnel reshuffles have shown that he is concerned about a potentially unstable spring as well as presidential elections tentatively scheduled for 2010. Bakiyev has replaced all heads of security structures and revamped cadres in his administration. Furthermore, in December he ordered the parliament to allow the Defense Ministry’s armed forces to intervene in domestic affairs. Finally, Bakiyev is frantically seeking Russian support in 2009 and 2010.

The Kyrgyz opposition has united several political parties and movements and is preparing to challenge Bakiyev this spring and demand his resignation (see EDM January 8). Following regular cutoffs of electricity and a steep increase of in the price of utilities, the opposition has a good chance to mobilize the masses against the regime. In the past year Bakiyev appointed his brother Zhanysh Bakiyev to head the National Security Guard, while his son Marat leads the National Security Service. His crony Adakhan Madumarov heads the Security Council, his former personal guard Bakytbek Kalyev is defense minister, and Moldomusa Kongantiev, another close friend, is minister of internal affairs.

Despite these appointments, opposition leaders have hoped that lower-ranking military personnel would refuse to support the president and government in case of organized mass demonstrations. Rumors in Bishkek suggest, however, that Bakiyev is planning to relocate more Defense and Interior Troops from southern Kyrgyzstan to the capital in case the opposition begins rioting. By doing so, the president hopes to secure support of lower-ranking personnel.

Opposition leaders are well informed about Bakiyev’s intentions and are still seeking to establish ties with the armed forces on their own. Bakiyev, however, is sabotaging such attempts by prosecuting the well-respected Mayor General Ismail Isakov, who might have considerable influence with the security organizations. Isakov served as defense minister as well as head of the Security Council from 2005 to 2008. He is currently a member of the opposition bloc United Opposition.

During the mass riots in March 2005 that eventually resulted in a change of regime, the army was deployed in Bishkek to guard the streets but was never ordered to intervene in civilian protests. This spring, however, the likelihood of the armed forces breaking up the protests has increased significantly. Should troops ever be deployed in Bishkek, they would be mostly newly recruited conscripts lacking proper political or military training. Conscripts typically lack a clear understanding of their role in national security and fear corporal punishment from sergeants and commanders.

Since gaining independence in 1991 Kyrgyzstan has never allowed Defense Ministry forces to intervene in internal affairs. According to a public statement by the NGO Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, by allowing defense ministry troops to operate together with the police, parliament is flouting the constitutional rights of Kyrgyz citizens (www.akipress.kg, January 9).

Meanwhile, Bakiyev’s long-time supporter Meder Sadyrkulov resigned from his position as head of the president’s administration on January 8 (www.akipress.kg, January 8). Most Kyrgyz pundits see his resignation as a tactic by Bakiyev to solidify his support in the administration prior to a turbulent spring and the 2010 presidential elections (www.24.kg, January 9). The president replaced Sadyrkulov with Daniyar Usenov, one of Kyrgyzstan’s most influential businessmen. Usenov previously occupied several high posts, and was despised by a number of deputies from the previous parliament.

The president is also trying to boost relations with Russia. The pro-regime media have spread rumors that Bakiyev is planning to shut down the U.S. military base before his proposed visit to Russia this year. Several international news agencies have picked up on this as well. Commander of United States Central Command General David Petraeus, however, denied this speculation during his visit to Astana (BBC, January 14).

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov is currently in Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the second time since December. At that time, Chudinov and Putin discussed Russia’s pledge to allocate $2 billion in credit to support Kyrgyzstan’s economy and hydroelectric sector. Putin had promised this loan as early as in August 2007, before the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, when he still was a president. The promise of the generous credit has been in the Russian and Kyrgyz media, but the conditions and terms have never been made public.

Loyal security forces, reshuffles in the presidential administration, and efforts to secure the Kremlin’s support are all part of Bakiyev’s preparations for riots in the spring. Bakiyev might, however, challenge his own power by relying too heavily on the security structures. Kyrgyzstan has no precedent of the army intervening in civilian life. When police forces shot five protestors dead in the village of Aksy in March 2002, it almost cost Askar Akayev his presidency."
 

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