Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/6/10

Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia

By       (Page 3 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 29215
Message Rick Rozoff

The feature from which the above comment is borrowed added:

"The Kyrgyz plan to set up a U.S.-funded training center in Batken might upset Russia, as the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization announced its intention last year to build a military base in southern Kyrgyzstan.

"Kyrgyzstan had been under pressure by Russia and China to close the U.S. air base. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security treaty
dominated by Russia and China, has called on the United States to close its
military bases in Central Asia.

"According to the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Washington has committed $5.5 million toward the completion of the counterterrorism center." [17]

Petraeus also visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in early April and immediately after his return Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with President Barack Obama in Washington. Nazarbayev announced that he had granted the Pentagon the right to fly troops and military equipment over his nation for the expanding war in Afghanistan. According to Michael McFaul, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, "the agreement will allow troops to fly directly from the United States over the North Pole to the region." [18]

In early June a report titled "Pentagon Looks to Plant New Facilities in Central Asia" disclosed that the U.S. is "preparing to embark on a mini-building boom in Central Asia" and "the US military wants to be
involved in strategic construction projects in all five Central Asian states, including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan." [19]

In what was described as the major component of the project, the aforementioned training center in Kyrgyzstan, the report also stated, "The facility was originally intended to be built in Batken. But now it appears that it will be situated in Osh." [20]

Three days after the above excerpts appeared online the city of Osh erupted into violence, a deadly conflict between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks which cost hundreds of lives and led to hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks being displaced.

An account of an announcement reported to have been posted on the U.S. government's Federal Business Opportunities website in the middle of this May included this quote: "We anticipate two different projects in Kyrgyzstan. Both are estimated to be in the $5 million to $10 million dollar range."

The posting "added that up to $5 million each was earmarked for Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It also listed two separate proposals for Tajikistan, one valued at up to $5 million, the other worth up to $10 million." [21]

The U.S. military was evicted from the Uzbek air base at Karshi-Khanabad in November of 2005 and neither troops nor planes have returned since. But this April General Petraeus visited Uzbekistan, met with President Islam Karimov, and "the sides exchanged opinions on the issues of further development of Uzbek-US cooperation and other areas of mutual interest." [22] American troops and pilots may soon join their German NATO allies operating from the air base at Termez near the Uzbek-Afghan border.

On June 25 Western news agencies reported that Ken Gross, the American ambassador to Tajikistan, where a French-dominated NATO operation has been run since early 2002 at the Dushanbe Airport but where to date no U.S. forces have been stationed, revealed that the Pentagon is to "build a facility for training local troops" to be opened next year. The American envoy said that "The plan [includes] almost $10 million to build this national training centre for the Tajik armed forces." [23]

An Agence France-Presse report added that "The United States has in past years built training facilities, financed military programs and established airbases in a handful of strategic ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia....These include Georgia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus as well as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia." [24]

Petraeus's visits to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in April followed up on trips to the same three Central Asian nations last August, to Tajikistan in October and to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in January of last year.

What his visits have focused on and in large part accomplished is to secure transit rights and, as has been seen above, a military foothold in the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Starting in earnest with his tour of Central Asia in January of 2009, Petraeus has solidified what is known as a Northern Distribution Network for the Afghan war, a three-prong project that takes in a majority of the fifteen nations that formerly constituted the Soviet Union and that circumvents Pakistan, hitherto the main land route for U.S. and NATO supplies into Afghanistan but one which is more endangered by attacks with each passing day.

The first route starts in Latvia on the Baltic Sea and proceeds overland through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Last month "NATO marked a new first in its Afghan campaign...as officials announced that the alliance had sent supplies by rail to its troops via Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for the first time...."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Rick Rozoff Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Template: NATO Consolidates Grip On Former Yugoslavia

Pentagon Preparing for War with the 'Enemy': Russia

Pentagon's Christmas Present: Largest Military Budget Since World War II

Pentagon And NATO Apply Afghanistan-Pakistan War Model To Africa

21st Century Strategy: Militarized Europe, Globalized NATO

As Obama Talks Of Arms Control, Russians View U.S. As Global Aggressor

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: