Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kyrgyzstan and the United States

The BBC reports today that Kyrgyzstan will be shuttering the United States air base outside the capital city of Bishkek. This is pretty big news any direction that you cut it, but given our new "focus" on fixing things in Afghanistan, the closing of the Manas base is really, really, really important. You can check out my paper about Democratization in Kyrgyzstan on GoogleDocs; it has a few bits about the air base and its importance.

We've never really treated our Central Asian presence as seriously as I would have hoped for, and it shows. The turning down of American interests in Central Asia is to be expected, even in the face of President Obama's hopes for changing the perception of America. Russia has come out ahead, largely because they have decided to pay the Kyrgyz for the privileges of hanging out.

This sucks, yes, and I don't know how to recoup these losses. Between Manas and the Kharshi-Khanabad "issue" in 2005, the United States is being edged out of one of the most important places on earth.

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abc123.com said...

Obama, seems to be all talk so far, I don't think Washington will ever get it when it comes to this part of the World. I lost a brother in Viet Nam in 1968 we didn't get it back then! Keep stepping on peoples toes. Thanks Bob Lewis