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Oh, Great

Update: Danger Room confirms that the Pentagon blew it, they thought the Kyrgyz were just negotiating, and not serious.

The BBC is reporting that Kyrgyzstan ‘to shut key US base’

Kyrgyzstan’s president has said his government is closing a key US air base on its territory.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev made the announcement in Moscow, where he was promised more than $2bn (£1.4bn) in aid by Russia.

Despite this officials in Washington said the US was still hoping to continue using the Manas base.

Logistics are about to get a whole lot more “interesting”, as attacks on the land route through Pakistan are constantly taking place. The drone attacks inside Pakistan are not helping the situation, and should probably be halted to concentrate on establishing a secure supply route, if possible.

6 comments

1 Badtux { 02.04.09 at 3:24 am }

Kyrgyzstan has some serious problems. As in, the hydroelectric dam that provides most of the power for the country has no water behind it either because a) various government officials took bribes to sell the water to downstream countries, or b) global warming, depending upon who you listen to. As in, there is only four hours per day of electricity in the capital city Bishkek, where electric heat is the main form of heating because of lack of oil to fuel the central boilers (like most of the old Soviet cities Bishkek was once largely heated by steam pipes emanating from central boilers that heat multiple buildings), and it’s damned cold there right now.

Kyrgyzstan has been yelling for help for the past few months as the situation reached critical levels. The Russians are the first people to offer any significant help, but they seem to be attaching strings to it. Well, you know, if the U.S. really needs that base, they can simply out-bid the Russians. That’s just how the real world works. The Kyrgyz might not be fond of Islamic extremists, but they’re even less fond of freezing in the dark.

– Badtux the Geopolitical Penguin

2 Bryan { 02.04.09 at 3:53 pm }

I don’t doubt that the State Department and Pentagon missed the signals about the Kyrgyz, given their “with us or against us” attitude. If you are going to play in Central Asia, you keep your wallet handy and learn who to send “gifts” to. The Russians know how to play the game, when they feel like it, and the Chinese are masters at it, but the US just doesn’t get it. There is a difference between gifts and graft, but Americans just can’t figure the system out.

Some of the current problems in Afghanistan are dunning notices from the Northern Alliance and others for US debts that weren’t paid from the campaign to kick out the Soviets. The “interest and penalties” on bad debts in that area can be fatal.

3 Badtux { 02.04.09 at 4:08 pm }

Shit, you didn’t need to be listening for “signals” that Kyrgyzstan was in trouble. They were friggin’ yelling it out as early as last July, when it became obvious that they were not going to be able to get through the winter on the amount of water stored in that reservoir. That was when the Kyrgyzstan situation came to my attention. If I, a mere peon, can notice that the Kyrgyz are yelling and screaming for help because they’re about to freeze in the dark in that cold-ass Siberian winter, so can anybody else — if they give a shit. Which the Busheviks never did.

Kyrgyzstan can’t afford to pay billions for the oil and gas needed to fire up those old Soviet central boilers, so the Russians are providing “free” oil and gas so that the Kyrgyz will at least not freeze in the dark (they’ll just boil in the dark, since those old Soviet central heating systems have no thermostats!). But the string attached appears to be that the Kyrgyz have to kick out the Americans. Like I said, if the U.S. really needs that base, they can simply out-bid the Russians. That’s just how the real world works. But the Busheviks lived in their own little bubble world, not the real world, so… sigh.

4 Bryan { 02.04.09 at 5:25 pm }

The problem was the Kyrgyz didn’t buy ads on Rush’s show where the Hedgemony gets all its news.

In addition to a lack of thermostats, they are turned on and off based on the calendar, not the weather, and there are rumors that in a large city, perhaps named Moscow, it can take two weeks to get heat to everyone on the system, if the lines don’t break or get clogged with rust and hard water deposits. If you live on the top floor you are SOL.

I would note that the bloody military uses/used the same system at Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, and Rhein-Main AB in Germany. There are thermostats on at least one radiator in each of those locations, but the military didn’t provide it.

5 Kryten42 { 02.04.09 at 11:01 pm }

Busy as hell, so this will be brief. (makes a change) 😉 Sorry…

There is a deal struck with Russia (as the primary, mainly to take the focus), Iran (trade but mainly oil) and Afghanistan. 🙂 None of them want a US base anywhere near them. Kyrgyzstan is under a lot of pressure from neighbors to kick the US out, and there is a lot at stake for them. The US is broke and stupid, so I don’t see the US keeping the base there, the US really can’t offer what their neighbors can.

BTW, Turkey is also being put under pressure to kick the US out. Going to be an interesting couple years IMHO.

6 Bryan { 02.04.09 at 11:43 pm }

Israeli action is adding to the pressure on the Turkish government after being abused for 8 years by the Hedgemony. The State Department needs to send a “name” as the ambassador, and there had better be a visit by Clinton soon to stroke some egos.

Neither the Russians or the Chinese want us in the area, and the logistics planners should have had a Plan B ready to roll. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it probably did.

Drought, heat wave, and a series of tropical cyclones – your weather is certainly getting somewhat too interesting, Kryten.