Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO International joins us to discuss the scandal of the Manas Air Base, a facility in Kyrgyzstan that has been strategically important for the US in staging and transportation to supply its decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. We discuss the history of US-Kyrgyz relations, years-long rumblings from the Kyrgyz political establishment to kick the US out of Manas, its possible use as a drug-smuggling facility, and more. Continue reading →
A recent editorial on the website of Voice of America reflected on last year being one in which the United States solidified relations with the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
One or more of the five nations border Afghanistan, Russia, China and Iran and several more than one of the latter. Kazakhstan, for example, adjoins China and Russia.
“In the 1990s Gulen’s Madrasas sheltered 130 CIA agents” in Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan”
Yesterday Washington Post’s Jeff Stein published a very interesting but incomplete story regarding a recently published memoir by former Turkish Intelligence Chief Osman Nuri Gundes. Here is the title of his post: Islamic group is CIA front, ex-Turkish Intel chief says. For those of you familiar with my case and what I’ve been covering here at Boiling Frogs Post this exposé is ‘old news’ but nonetheless a vindication. As for those who are first-timers here or not that familiar with my case, this is an opportunity for a bit of background and to learn a few important points and facts that you won’t be getting from this ‘half-picture’ presented by the Washington Post.
Central Asian Militants, Pan-Turkic Aims & Mysterious Financiers
I just finished reading an interesting article at Asia Times on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is characterized by some as Central Asia’s most aggressive militant group. The main focus of the article is placed on the status, recent expansion and transformation of IMU: Continue reading →
In the last few weeks I’ve been reading and talking about the latest developments in Central Asia and the Caucasus. I am planning to post a few updates on the status of the score board in this region (pipeline rivalries, military base ‘erection’ scores- and what-not). Meanwhile, as I am dealing with all this I keep ending up with riddle-like situations. And instead of trying to solve or get out of these riddles, I’m going to give up and instead share one of them with you, my blogosphere friends.
Our enemies’ enemies are our friends. Many of our nation’s enemies are the enemies of our enemies, so that makes them what? Friends? Enemies? It depends? Both? And what would all this make our ‘real’ foreign policy makers? Enemies? Friends? Both? What?
On August 4 the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Italian Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, concluded an official visit to Australia during which he met with the nation’s acting Chief of Defence and officials from the Department of Defence. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, despite its name, has strayed far from its point of origin 61 years ago, extending its grasp from North America and Western Europe to Asia and the South Pacific.
Di Paola’s deliberations with his Australian counterparts centered on “the need for NATO to work together with strategic partners like Australia, given that Euro-Atlantic security is more and more interconnected to Euro-Asian and Asian-Pacific regions.”
The United States plans to build a new military base in Kyrgyzstan, the US originally planned to open the base before Kyrgyzstan’s former leader was ousted. US defense secretary Robert Gates says the US will decrease spending, so why are they continuing with this base? Rick Rozoff says that the United States is doing this in order to gain stronger footing in the region, especially in Afghanistan.
Maksim Bakiyev: A Groomed Puppet Who Never Came to Be King
Kyrgyzstan’s Wanted Fugitive: Maksim Bakiyev. The story is more or less the same – the one that has been repeating itself for many decades. The one based on a script written by the very same conductors who wrote the ones before, and who will probably be writing the ones to come (yes, they’re blessed with longevity; a curse for the rest of us). The location – always a resource rich country or one strategically crucial to resource rich countries. A viable candidate (sometimes candidates) chosen based on the exact same set of criteria – such as degree of corruptibility, and degree of atrocity or criminal tendencies. Continue reading →
Will the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan lead to greater instability, and perhaps an expansion of the current conflict in Central Asia? There are good reasons to be concerned. Deep forces, not adequately understood, are at work there; and these forces have repeatedly led to major warfare in the past.
The pattern of events unfolding in Kyrgyzstan is ominously reminiscent of how America became involved in Laos in the 1960s, and later in Afghanistan in the 1980s. American covert involvement in those countries soon led to civil wars producing numerous casualties and refugees. It will take strenuous leadership from both Obama in Washington and Medvedev in Moscow to prevent a third major conflict from breaking out in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders have said they intend to remove a US military base, which currently serves as the premier air mobility hub for the US-led forces in Afghanistan, from their soil.The interim government led by ex-foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva, has said it wants the US base, Manas, closed down for security reasons.
The remarks came amid growing uncertainty over whether the new Kyrgyz authorities would allow the US to use the base.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed five years after and in the same manner as he came to power, in a bloody uprising.
Elected president two months after the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 he helped engineer, he was since then head of state of the main transit nation for the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, “More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs.
April 07, 2010 — Officials in the U.S. are keeping a close eye on the situation in Kyrgyzstan, mostly because the country is home to a pivotal US air base for transporting equipment and troops going to and from Afghanistan. Erica Marat says that President Bakiyev is not interested in Democracy and that is a main reason for the violence that has flared up in Kyrgyzstan.