Monday, August 1, 2005

They're putting the best face on this (Uzbekistan)

Earlier in U.S. Asked to leave Uzbekistan air base I examined the demand by Uzbekistan that the U.S. leave within 180 days. The air base at "K2" is a strategic staging area supporting the activities in Afghanistan.

No Harm Seen in Loss of Base in Uzbekistan (By ERIC SCHMITT, Published: August 1, 2005, NYTIMES.COM)

Senior American military officials said Sunday that the loss of access to an important air base in Uzbekistan could be offset without hurting combat operations and relief missions in Afghanistan.

... "We are and have been working a plan to adjust without K-2," one senior American commander in the region said in an e-mail message, referring to the Uzbek installation, Karshi-Khanabad Air Base.

A senior Air Force officer concurred, saying: "It's not a big deal, especially if they continue to grant us overflight rights. Even without the overflight, we're still O.K. It's just a longer routing going into Afghanistan."

The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senior officials have not formally approved any alternatives.

Here we have the sound of two officials "putting the best face on it". Such a sickly sweet sound, isn't it?

Okay, probably they were already making plans since Uzbekistan had previously been making noises about the U.S. leaving. But the other countries in the area also have policies that the U.S. are not to be allowed long term presence. Which makes me wonder about how the U.S. will achieve the long-term goals of the neocons ... which is access to the central asian oil in a way where it's not controlled by hostile third parties. As if there weren't any route not controlled by hostile third parties.

The whole area is former Soviet Union or else heavily Islamic. The Islamic countries are no doubt in huge rancor over U.S. activities in Iraq, or menacing posture to Iran, and the continued presence in Saudi Arabia. This has been the fuel driving al Qaeda, and has been the biggest recruitment tool driving membership in the .. I dunno what to call them because I truly dislike calling them "The Terrorists". These are fundamentalist Islamic-oriented groups who have simply chosen terrorism as their major strategy to achieve their end.