Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Kyrgyzstan Gives Us The Green Light
After all the talk by Kyrgyzstan's new President, Kurmanbek Bakiev, about the U.S. leaving the Air Base it operates out of Manas (near the capital city of Bishkek), SecDef Donald Rumsfeld has received the green light from the Kyrgyz to continue using the base in support of operations in Afghanistan.
As the BBC correctly noted (for once), when the U.S. leased the base "The move extended American influence deep into the territory of the former Soviet Union." This base is not just vital to our Afghan operations; it is our last hope for maintaining any important influence in that region. (Afghanistan doesn't count because it's too far south)
Russia and China have been trying to push us out of Manas the day we set foot on Kyrgyz soil because they see our presence as a threat to their respective spheres of influence. The news that we're staying on longer is like a thumb to the eye of Putin and Beijing.
Good on Rumsfeld for rushing out to Bishkek and increasing our friendship with Kyrgyzstan's new government.
To quote Bogey, this new deal looks like the start of a a beautiful friendship. It also adds backbone to the Global War on Terror, and the weakening of China and Russia's grasp on Central Asia.
posted by El Capitan at 10:03 AM