To Tajikistan? Kazakhstan?

by Nathan Hamm on 8/5/2005 · 2 comments

MosNews reports that US forces at K2 will stay in the region.

“The Americans might deploy an air base at the Aini airfield near Dushanbe (Tajikistan), or at the Ganca airfield 300 km west of Baku and near Nasosnaya outside Baku in Azerbaijan,” he said.

“By expert estimates, the most preferable option for the Pentagon is to deploy an air base in Tajikistan. Flights from the Aini airfield would make it possible for US military planes to fly to any regions in Afghanistan without refueling, which is impossible to do flying, for instance, from the Manas airfield,” the source said.

From the way the source talks, it appears he is not American and that this story is no more solid than earlier speculation.

An earlier MosNews story reports that the Tajik Defense Ministry has said it will not host planes from K2.

Discussing the issue in greater detail, Vladimir Socor notes that the US is cultivating stronger ties with Kazakhstan.

…President George W. Bush termed Kazakhstan a “strategic partner of the United States in Central Asia.” Noting Kazakhstan’s anti-terrorist efforts in Central Asia in cooperation with the United States, Bush’s letter announces, “We want to expand that cooperation.” Bush goes on to underscore Kazakhstan’s troop contributions to U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Kazakhstan’s “impressive economic performance,” and the country’s internal political stability, by all of which “Kazakhstan has set an example for other states in the region.” Further democratic reforms and a free and fair presidential election should give Nazarbayev a strong mandate for another presidential term, Bush concludes in his letter, delivered in Astana three days after Uzbekistan’s “eviction notice” (Kazakhstan news agency, Khabar news agency, August 1).

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Major John August 5, 2005 at 5:00 pm

Just a small aside about Manas – when a full rotation in Afghanistan is underway, it can get crowded there. I am not sure there is a lot of capacity to absorb Karshi-Khanabad’s people or functions. The only way that would work would be some [more] alterations to the Manas-Bishkek airport.

IJ August 6, 2005 at 4:46 am

Under whose auspices should Afghanistan be helped? The US, the EU or the United Nations? The disaster in the Balkans (noted by MH, in ‘USAF to Azerbaijan?’) was a wake up call for the international community. Consequently, the EU through the ‘European Neighbourhood Policy’ now intends to be seen as the prime mover in spreading stability in its backyard.

But Azerbaijan has good reason to doubt the EU’s good intentions. See

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