There are other reasons why the issue has become a significant challenge:
- The possibility that US forces might
use the base to attack Iran or gather intelligence on China.
- The lack of the “trickle-down”
benefits that may have been expected.
- Concerns over the initial, possibly
corrupt, agreement with the former President of the Kyrgyz Republic.
- Growing scepticism about the
effectiveness and length of the Afghanistan operation.
- The conviction that Washington regards
the Kyrgyz Republic as a third-rate country to be taken for granted. Media
treatments that assume Bakiyev is Moscow’s puppet will not help this
CONCLUSION: To regard Bakiyev’s decision (which may yet be reversed) as something planned in Moscow is to grossly oversimplify the issue and make the common error of singling out Moscow as the only party to the decision.
FURTHER READING: John CK Daly: “The Manas Disillusionment”.
Photo source: www.defendamerica.mil