Kyrgyzstan is closing US airbase

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by KGB_resident, Jan 17, 2009.

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    Geopolitical tug-of-war continues. It is not Guanatanamo by the way.
  2. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    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. 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. China does not like it being there, its got nothing to do with Moscow, Beijing has been piling on the pressure.
  6. "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 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. 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. 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?

    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. 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.
    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.

    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.

    "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."

  12. 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. "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
  14. 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 :(