AMERICAN MILITARY PRESENCE IN KYRGYZSTAN: PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE REPERCUSSIONS
(as of June 2007)
Leonid Bondarets, Colonel, security expert (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
1. The U.S. Military Presence in Kyrgyzstan in the Context of Washington’s Foreign Policy
The Manas airbase was set up in Kyrgyzstan in December 2001 on a temporary basis in connection with the counterterrorist operation launched by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan. America’s powerful information impact presented the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on New York and Washington as a challenge to the entire civilized world. Osama bin-Laden and al-Qa‘eda based on the Taliban-controlled territories of Afghanistan were appointed as the main culprits, which was accepted as a matter of fact even though there has never been and is still no convincing evidence of their involvement. Part of the expert community doubts that this terrorist structure was strong enough to carry out such a large-scale act of terror.
The American side presented a note to the government of Kyrgyzstan on the status of the base and the American military deployed in the country, which was pushed through the parliament by the active efforts of those in the upper echelons of power who supported the project. From that time on, the military was to be treated as administrative and technical personnel of the U.S. embassy in full conformity with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April, 1961. American aircraft and transportation means were exempt from……………..