By Bill Van Auken
6 February 2009
The threatened closure of a key Pentagon supply base in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, with serious implications for the Obama administration’s planned escalation of the US-led war in Afghanistan, has deepened tensions between Washington and Moscow.
The Manas air base, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, is the major air link between the US military and American occupation forces in Afghanistan. Last year, at least 170,000 US military personnel passed through the base on their way to or from Afghanistan, together with 5,000 tons of military equipment. Approximately 1,000 US troops are stationed at the base, together with smaller contingents from France and Spain.
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