April 7th, 2010
04:54 PM ET

Around the Web: Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. effort in Afghanistan

The unrest in Kyrgyzstan could complicate U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, according to some reports Wednesday.  
“The instability highlights both Kyrgyzstan's vital role for the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the compromises both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have made to deal with an increasingly unsavory regime,” writes Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor.
Deirdre Tynan and Kadyr Toktogulov of the Wall Street Journal write: “The U.S. military base outside the Kyrgyz capital is vital to the expanding American war effort in Afghanistan. Most of the U.S. troops deploying to Afghanistan first pass through Manas, which also handles the majority of the American fuel, food and ammunition shipments to the war zone.
“Last month alone, more than 50,000 U.S. and coalition troops passed through Manas en route to Afghanistan, according to military officials at the base. More than 200,000 troops have deployed to Afghanistan through Manas since last October.” 

Clifford J. Levy of the New York Times says: “The upheaval raised questions about the future of an important American air base that operates in Kyrgyzstan in support of the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan. American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally.
“It also posed a potential embarrassment for the Obama administration, which angered the Kyrgyz opposition last summer by courting [Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev  in an ultimately successful attempt to reverse his decision to close the base.” 
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Bing West (New York Times): “How to save Afghanistan from Karzai
- Fred Kaplan (Slate): “Has Karzai gone crazy?"
- Tony Blankley (Washington Times): “Obama diplomacy has torpedoed the Karzai presidency

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Cris

    I have to comment about all of the people that think it is business as usual for Manas. It has been closed for the time being. There are many people coming from Afghanistan to go home, and are stuck. Not to mention those who need to get in there for their turn to do the job.
    A lot of you have negative opinions about OUR Military, and need to redirect your anger somewhere else. The Men and Women of Our Military, are doing the job they are trained to do.... They are following orders from the Higher Authority of our government.
    They do defend our freedom, and even if you disagree with the war... keep in mind they are the reason we are not OWNED by another country... We have our freedom.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hunaid

    Hmm Polish officials dead, Kyrgyzstan government overthrow. seems like Russia is cooking something up.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. the war-monger

    "As a knee-jerk war mongering nation, we suck at playing war...Why not they know the odds are good as our entire military might on land can't take on a 3rd world opponent. Posted by: betchaknow"

    Betchaknow...that third world opponent defeated the will of Alexander the Great, The British Empire and the Soviets. Not too bad if you ask me. I would shy away from making stabs at "our military might". I have severed in both theaters and winning in Afghanistan is not as elementary as you make it out to be. But then again I would assume you know this given your greater than “4th grade” education.
    Military service should be mandatory to allow leaders to realize to effects of it employment as a means of foreign policy. Additionally to provide know-it-all left-wing radicals a sense of reality on how the world really works instead of what the media/Hollywood pushes on us. Remember…it is these war-mongers that keep you free at little benefit to their own personal gain. Go praise lawyers, bankers and entertainers. They make the real sacrifices that keep this country free. Not us “war-mongers”.

    April 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Evan, Cupertino CA

    Kyrgyzstan smells like the next Iraq. Bush, step aside, there's a new kid on the block. Hopefully the new President learns from the mistakes of his predecessors.

    April 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Larry K

    It is funny how when we are fighting the People that caused 9/11 that you think Obama is murdering People... But Bush's war in Iraq you didn't think that is murder!!! I guess oil is more important to the Republicans than getting those that caused killing all the People in America right???

    April 10, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. lcpl r

    Remember the war isn't against Afghanistan, it's against the terrorists who are living there. We aren't fighting a 3rd world country, we are fighting terrorism. If we don't fight them there in we'll be fighting it here in your back yard. I'd rather go across seas to fight and die for you (like hundreds of thousands already have) than watch thousands of more civilians lose their lives to terrorism because we didn't want to take the fight to them. I believe labeling this conflict as a murderous campaign ignorant and disrespectful to all those who have laid down their lives to protect their families, country and you.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. havevisitedkyrgyz

    It is possible to get to Kyrgyz without flying over Iran, Afganistan, or any other "stan" for that matter. It's a minimum of 18 hours in air not counting layovers. It's quite a beautiful sight to fly out in the middle of the night and see the sun rising outside one side of the plane as you look into utter darkness on the other. I suggest you try it some day.

    April 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |

    RE: Robert
    As someone who relies on those very air traffic routes to get him from home in the US to my home near Lashkar Gah, I hope even CNN never gets wind of how we get from here to there. People like you comprimise people like me in almost every concievable way for the eddification of the populace in the US. And you wonder why opperations are botched.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. a joe in limbo

    despite what has been released the air base at manas is not operating as normal. I'm stuck in kandahar trying to redeploy back home but all flights back have been suspended, but I guess hurry up and wait is business as usual in the army.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. mabos

    I'm not sure if you (betchaknow) live in the U.S. but if you do, and enjoy your freedom, like walking down the street safely or all other simple pleasures you take for granted, you should probably be thanking the military people, not talking bad on them. You're also wrong about the reading levels and obesity levels. Each branch had a limited body fat percentage. Do your reshearch before you measure someone elses intelligence.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    A. Smith, Oregon: The fleet of air refuelers used at the Transit Center at Manas (it's no longer called an Air Base, stipulated in last year's agreement) is the KC-135 Stratotanker.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    CNN made a nice effort earlier today to use electronic maps to show the location of the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. However, I heard nothing about how our many, planes, troops and supplies get to Manas. It is north of Afganistan and on the border with China. The other "Stans" border it. We cannot fly ovewr Iran so how in the heck do our planes get there wihtout flying over Afganistan in the first place?

    April 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nathanael [desert voice]

    No one knows what will happen to Kurmanbek Bakijev since he refuses to give up power. What is not being reported is that Vladimir Putin has reinforced the Russian contingent by 150 special forces' officers in Kyrgistan. The Russians have a base very close to the American base. I think that the situation is fluid and unpredictable at this point.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry

    A. Smith, Oregon: Where do you get your information? if i may quote Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the caretaker government, "the US airbase in Kyrgyzstan would remain open."
    Yes they are poor as a nation, as a result they seem have no intention of refusing a crucial source of funding.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Iraq Paramedic

    Well I hate to go back in time on things but, if we would have taken care of Iran back when they kidnapped our embassy people & those students & workers we would have a short direct route. But if we would turn Isreal loose right now we would have the whole country. Well maybe not the whole country but some of what is left.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  16. A. Smith, Oregon

    It is entirely refreshing given the horrible state of the world economy from the horrific Republican led Bush-Cheney administration that a relatively poor nation, Kyrgyzstan stands up and tells the US Military to 'get out of Kyrgyzstan, we do not want your money'.

    For years the US Military has handed out Billions of taxpayer dollars in bribes and rent money to Kyrgyzstan in order to use their airstrips for their KC130 refueler fleet that is essential to refuel fighter jets over nearby Afghanistan.

    The new opposition government of Kyrgyzstan is very clear, 'America get out of Kyrgyzstan, we do not want your money' 'Get out of our airports and airbases'.

    With Afghanistan President Karzai threatening to join the Taliban freedom fighters and the new Kyrgyzstan government telling America to get out of their country and airbases, it seems Gen. McChrystal's house of cards is literally falling apart in a quick fashion. McChrystal's shake and bake instant Afghanistan regional governments was a notion that was mostly rejected by the UK and other NATO members as a failed policy from day ONE.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  17. mikky

    proving once again that the smelly stinky barn Bush left behind will be hard to shovel out. Obama inherited this dump, and while he wants to save America, he has been left too much craps by the previous lunatics. An the lunatics will attack saying more war, more death, more profits for the military industrialists Do Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin even know where .Kyrgyzstan is? Can't see it from either Alaska or a small little district in Miinnesota...why are uneducated lunatics trying to take over this country?

    April 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Tim

    The nuke issue with russia not a coincidence

    April 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tim

    It seems moscow is up to it's old tricks,closing our base in manus would be a real sign that
    the russians are going to push for the U.S. to close the base,a real blow to our middle east
    plans in Afghanistan,and a hugh setback for the the current administration.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mor-reese in Memphis


    Here ya are again!

    For certain there are aggressive, misbegotten Right Wingers still pulling strings and influencing votes in Washington, but really, you need to differentiate between those who would "prefer' to be running things, and those who "actually are".

    As one observant poster already said elsewhere, "i think Daniel's just "stirring the Pot". That has to be it, or else your a case of someone with a terminal case of Myopia that is focused on a narrow, and misconceived belief that all politicians in Washington, be they leaning to the Right or Left, are trying to prolong the Afghan conflict.

    Now if you can point us all to anything that proves such, then do so....and you'll greatly increase your relevancy on these blogs. We'll be waiting.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  21. betchaknow

    As a knee-jerk war mongering nation, we suck at playing war. We've lost them all since WW!! in my opinion. Are we to allow the plutocracy wage war until their war mdse contracting buddies have no more inventory. Afghanistan is NOT worth "saving'
    We may as well have the cast of Jersey Shore running the military. 1/3 of U.S. are Obese and read at the 4th grade level. Pirates thought they could take a Navy frigate..Why not they know the odds are good as our entire military might on land can't take on a 3rd world opponent.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Hank Van den Berg, Lincoln, NE

    Great. If Obama is too compromised to stop the occupation of Afghanistan, maybe the revolutionaries in Kyrgustan will help get us out of our murderous occupation.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Daniel

    Wouldn't it be great if a new government in Kyrgystan was to come foreward and try to arrange a peace settlement in neighboring Afghanistan.But I guess that the right-wing thugs in Washington won't stand for it,either.

    April 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |