Coup In Kyrgyzstan?

Whatever is happening, it’s not helpful to the U.S. war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, seeing as one of our main resupply bases is located at the Manas International Airport, about 19 miles northwest of the capital of Bishkek.

Dozens killed in Kyrgyzstan unrest

The small, mountainous Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, a vital conduit for supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, plunged into chaos Wednesday as thousands of protesters ransacked government buildings and riot police fired on crowds, killing dozens of people.

The unrest left the fate of the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in doubt. Bakiyev has led the country since 2005 when he headed the so-called Tulip Revolution that deposed autocratic leader Askar A. Akayev. In the wake of Wednesday’s violence, Bakiyev’s government declared a state of emergency, even as opposition leaders claimed to have assumed power and Kyrgyzstan’s border with Kazakhstan was closed.

Although officials reported that at least 40 people had been killed and 400 wounded in the violence, opposition leaders put the death toll at 100. Neither claim could be verified.

The violence was being watched closely by Washington, which uses the Manas base at the airport in the capital, Bishkek, to ferry supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

Manas is the only remaining American base in Central Asia and is considered vital to the Afghanistan war effort. Military officials said the violence had not affected operations there.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the base was “functioning normally,” adding that the Obama administration was urging a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Kyrgyz opposition leaders have called for closure of Manas because, they say, the base could put the country at risk if the U.S. becomes involved in a military conflict with Iran. And at least twice in recent years Bakiyev has threatened to end U.S. use of the airport, but reconsidered after negotiating larger payments.

Ex-foreign minister says she’s Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader

A former foreign minister claimed to be in control of an interim government in Kyrgyzstan early Thursday after a wave of protests that left at least 40 dead and appeared to have driven President Kurmanbek Bakiev from office.

“We must restore a lot of things that have been wrongly ruled,” said Roza Otunbayeva, who called herself the country’s interim leader.

No independent confirmation of the claim was immediately available. The U.S. State Department said earlier that it believed Bakiev remained in power, but Otunbayeva said he had fled Bishkek, the capital, and his government had resigned after a day of clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

See also:
Kyrgyzstan: Coup in a U.S.-Allied Country?
The day Kyrgyzstan’s anger boiled over
Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan Could Imperil Key U.S. Base
Opposition says it leads Kyrgyzstan after uprising
Kyrgyzstan opposition sets up ‘people’s government’
Roza Otunbayeva New President of Kyrgyzstan After Government Collapse, 100 Dead in Extreme Violence
Uprising in Kyrgyzstan leaves dozens killed
Unrest in Kyrgyzstan Prompts U.S. to Limit Flights at Base
Centerra Shares Plunge After Kyrgyzstan Opposition Claims Power
Kyrgyzstan protests: What it means for US role in Afghanistan war?
Factbox: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan
Q&A: What’s causing the unrest in Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Roza Otunbayeva
Manas International Airport
Transit Center at Manas
Transit Center at Manas

One thing the United States cannot afford to lose is use of the Transit Center at Manas, it’s vital to our resupply of Afghanistan and there really isn’t any viable substitute. Hopefully, if the apparent new government threatens to kick us out, we’ll be able to bribe our way into maintaining the base, as we did when the old government threatened to kick us out.

/however, given our foreign policy comedy team of Clinton and Obama, I have my doubts as to their diplomatic prowess in dealing with this delicate and immensely important situation

A Whiff of Warsaw Pact

Just a day after convincing Kyrgyzstan it kick the U.S. out of Manas Air Base, a vital link in our supply chain for Afghanistan, Russia announced the formation of a new regional military force.

Post-Soviet nations to form military force

A Russian-led bloc of post-Soviet nations has agreed to establish a rapid-reaction military force to combat terrorists and respond to regional emergencies, Russian media reported Wednesday.

The decision came a day after reports that Kyrgyzstan is planning to close a strategically important U.S. military base that Washington uses to transport troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the Collective Security Treaty Organization — made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan — decided on the rapid-reaction force at a Kremlin summit, the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

The group’s security council “spent a long time discussing the central issue of forming collective reaction forces and, generally, of rapid reaction to possible threats,” said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

“Everyone agreed that the formation of joint forces is necessary,” he said.

. . .

Russian media reported that the force will be used to fight military aggressors, conduct anti-terror operations, battle regional drug trafficking and respond to natural disasters. The force will be based in Russia under a single command, with member nations contributing military units.

See also:
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
Russia Buys A Vowel In Kyrgyzstan

/the Russian Bear stirs, has Obama finished his waffle?

Run Away!

Kyrgyzstan to close U.S. base used to supply Afghanistan

In a setback to the escalating U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan , the president of Kyrgyzstan said Tuesday that his government will shut down the American air base in his country.

U.S. officials say that the Manas Air Base is vital to plans to send an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan , a linchpin of President Barack Obama’s efforts to pacify the country.

The announcement by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev came in Moscow , not in his own capital, and shortly after the Russian government reportedly agreed to lend Kyrgyzstan $2 billion , write off $180 million in debt and add another $150 million in aid. Although the Russian government didn’t release a statement about the decision, the timing and place of the announcement indicated that the Kremlin had been involved.

See also:
Will the U.S. Stick By Karzai in Afghanistan?

Word’s out, Obama’s a wussy. Just watch, we’re going to cut and run in Afghanistan.

/sure hope Karzai’s life insurance is paid up and he’s got an escape plan