Archive for the ‘manas’ Category

NOWRUZ 2015   Leave a comment

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Happy Nowruz 2015!

Closure of Sole U.S. Military Base in Central Asia   Leave a comment

kyrgyz_flagPresident Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan has ordered the closure of U.S. military’s only base in Central Asia, further squeezing access for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan.

Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan serves as a U.S. supply route for troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

Two other central Asian nations — Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have indicated that they will allow transit of U.S. cargo to Afghanistan.

Increasing militant attacks on land routes through Pakistan and no likelihood of access through Afghanistan’s major western border with Iran, are putting the the United States under pressure to establish new supply chains from the north.

Manas’ closure could deal a significant blow to U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan just as President Barack Obama plans to step up U.S. troop levels to halt a resurgence of the country’s former Taliban rulers.

The utility of the arrangements with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would still depend on how much access the United States would have for flights and cargo. It is unlikely they will fully replace capacity lost in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan to Close U.S. Base at Bishkek   Leave a comment

manas_closureKyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has decided to close the U.S. Manas Airbase, which has served as a key staging location for U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has relied heavily on this outpost, which has provided an alternative to Pakistan, where convys face security risks.

The U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan was its only outpost in Central Asia.

Bakiyev made the decision after securing approximately US$2 billion in aid from Russia.

Adakhan Madumarov, secretary of the Kyrgyz Security Council, said ithe U.S. military would be given 180 days to close its operations and leave once the two sides had exchanged formal diplomatic notes.

Many in Kyrgyzstan have criticized the presence of U.S. troops.

Moscow, which operates its own airbase in Kyrgyzstan a few dozen kilometers away from Manas, has been irritated by Manas’s existence and has put pressure on Kyrgyzstan to close it, though on Wednesday said it would offer the U.S. support.