Russia is putting it’s foot down and it isn’t in a gentle way.
” Kyrgyzstan’s president said Tuesday his country is ending U.S. use of an air base key to military operations in Afghanistan- a decision with potentially grave consequences for U.S. efforts to put down surging Taliban and al-Qaida violence.
A U.S. military official in Afghanistan called President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s statement “political positioning” and denied the U.S. presence at the Manas air base would end anytime soon. The United States is preparing to deploy an additional 15,000 troops in Afghanistan and Manas is an important stopover for U.S. material and personnel.
Ending U.S. access would be a significant victory for Moscow in its efforts to squeeze the United States out of Central Asia, home to substantial oil and gas reserves and seen by Russia as part of its strategic sphere of influence.” From AP http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_RUSSIA_KYRGYZSTAN_US_BASE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-02-03-12-49-12
Well isn’t that just special? The Russians come, play war games and poke at us with Cuba and Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea, right off the U.S. coastline, and now want to end American presence at a key base just as we are about to increase troop presence. Such timing.
Just this weekend (Feb 1,09)Near the Pakistan/ Afghan border lies the Swat Valley, where the Taliban and Al Qaeda have traditionally had their strongholds. 17 people were killed in fighting and the military recently vowed to reinvigorate its efforts where Taliban fighters have set up their own courts, destroyed scores of girls’ schools and reportedly driven out hundreds of thousands of residents. Swat is less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,486388,00.html
Yesterday (Feb 2, 09) Gunmen kidnapped an American U.N. worker and killed his driver in southwestern Pakistan on Monday, underscoring the security threat in a country wracked by al-Qaida violence and rising criminality. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2009/02/gunmen_kidnap_american_un_official_in_pakistan.php John Solecki, the head of the U.N. refugee office in the city of Quetta was abducted as he traveled to work.
Vice President Joe Biden says the nation should expect more U.S. military casualties. Pentagon officials say they plan to send up to 30,000 additional troops to the Afghan war, where the Taliban is resurgent and violence has been on the rise.
Biden said Sunday that additional U.S. forces will be engaging the enemy more. Asked if that means the U.S. public should expect more American casualties, the vice president said: “I hate to say it, but yes, I think there will be. There will be an uptick.” From CBS’ “Face the Nation.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/25/biden-on-afghanistan-expe_n_160689.html
An uptick? Frig your uptick- everyone of those numbers has a name Mr. Biden and no matter one’s opinion of GWB, he never referred to any soldier so insignificantly as being an uptick. With that said…
The United States set up the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan and a base in neighboring Uzbekistan after the September 2001 terror attacks, to back operations in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan expelled U.S. troops from the base on its territory in 2005 in a dispute over human rights issues, leaving Manas as the only U.S. military facility in the region.
Russia has long been suspicious of the U.S. presence in what it considers its strategic backyard and agreed Tuesday to provide Kyrgyzstan with $2 billion in loans plus another $150 million in financial aid.
Russia also uses a military airbase at Kant, Kyrgyzstan.
The United States currently pumps a total of $150 million into Kyrgyzstan’s economy annually, including $63 million in rent for Manas, Petraeus said last month. http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/02/03/kyrgyzstan-closing-us-base-key-to-afghan-conflict/
No one in the Obama administration has referred to the term, “the war on terror,” yet the effort to stop terror continues, rightfully so -but at the cost of an uptick of human life. http://icasualties.org/oef/ and here http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html .
It becomes difficult to absorb the fact that we can not, “Get” the bad guys when Google Earth http://earth.google.com/ has released it’s next generation technology that pretty much enables anyone to see a fly on a camel’s ass- anywhere, any time.
French officer Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel said, “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.”
Ain’t that a kick in the ass if he is telling the truth?
I miss old Dean Martin.
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