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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:31 PM
Original message
1,300 U.S. troops stranded at airfield in Kyrgyzstan, military says
Source: CNN

Washington (CNN) -- About 1,300 U.S. troops have been stuck at the Manas airfield in Kyrgyzstan because of the civil unrest there.

A U.S. military spokesman, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the security situation, said the troops have been unable to move because of the suspension of U.S. military operations at the airfield.

The airfield in the former Soviet republic has been a transit point for troops and supplies moving in and out of the war zone in Afghanistan.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/04/10/kyrgyzstan.us.troops/index.html?hpt=T2
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh yeah, it is way past time to just get the hell out of that entire area...n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I was wondering about our people when this story broke.
Yeah, long past time.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Right, and I'm sure we're seen as helping to prop up
one of the most corrupt governments in the region. Another of our allies, Uzbekistan, took the prize for the most bizarrely brutal.

If Afghan troops and police aren't trained by now, they never will be.

While I can see some wisdom in staying put until Pakistan finishes their own operations against the worst of the worst who fled Afghanistan for Pakistan, preventing them from crossing back into Afghanistan, I certainly don't see any wisdom at all in staying once those operations cease.

There is simply no other reason to stay. We really need to leave.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Our presence there has nothing to do with any sort of humanitarian concerns
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 05:00 PM by liberation
for the Afghani people, or anyone in the region for that matter.

We're not there to "train" the Afghani armed forces or police or whatever. We're there to disrupt a possible Russian-Sino influence axis. We're in their backyard.

We're a de facto empire, regardless of our pretenses to the contrary. Do most of the American people believe we have been at war for almost a decade to catch a goat fucker with bad kidneys?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Minor quibble
It's Afghan people. They consider that "i" on the end an insult.
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14thColony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. And the Afghani is their unit of currency
It's like calling Americans "dollars."
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. A Republican would consider that a compliment. n/t
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-10 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. A minor quibble, There is no such thing as an "Afghan" unless it is a rug
One of the old Jokes about Afghanistan is that it was a gift to map makers, it filled in a place on a map of the world with something other then "Tribal region".

Eastern Afghanistan Tribal Map:
http://www.nps.edu/programs/CCS/Docs/PDF%20Maps/East_tribal_map07.pdf

Southern Afghanistan Tribal Map:
http://www.nps.edu/programs/ccs/Docs/PDF%20Maps/RCSouthTribalmap07.pdf

Discussion of the Tribes in Northern Afghanistan, one's tribe is most important if one is a Pasthun, but has become secondary to where you live among Tajiks. Pasthuns make up 50% of Afghanistan's population (And a good part of Pakistan, especially in the Mountains). Tajiks make up about 25%, mostly along the northern border is Tajikistan (Which is one of the former Soviet States that made up the old Soviet Union and is now technically an independent Country, but coming more and more under Russian Domination):
http://www.nps.edu/Programs/CCS/Baghlan/Baghlan.html

More on Afghan Tribes:
http://www.cfr.org/publication/17686

Discussion of the "Federally Administered Tribal Area" of Pakistan (the Pasthuns dominated area within Pakistan):
http://www.nps.edu/Programs/CCS/Pakistan_Index.html

My point is most, if not all Afghan citizens view themselves as something other then as an Afghan. Among the Pasthun tribe is still #1, among the Tajiks and other members of the "Northern Alliance" locality is more important (Through is is true more to the fact the Tajiks and Uzbeks have strong connections with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan then among Tajiks and Uzbeks in Afghanistan).

The borders of Afghanistan were drawn in London in the late 1800s for administrative ease then anything else (And to draw a line that the Russian Empire would NOT cross as the Russian Empire took over Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the late 1800s). London did this even if it meant dividing up tribes (Which London did by keeping many Tajiks and Uzbeks in Afghanistan as oppose to leaving those tribal areas become part of what is now commonly referred to as the "Former Soviet Central Asian States".

For more on Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan see:
http://www.nps.edu/Programs/CCS/Central_Asia_index.html

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. More on the Pasthuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Balochs and others
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 01:31 AM by happyslug
Please note Uzbeks make up 9% of the population, making then the 3rd or 4th largest group in Afghanistan, tied with the Hazara at 9% (i.e. The Uzbeks and Hazara are both about 9% so one is the 3rd largest and the other is the 4th largest) but behind the 42% of the population for the Pasthuns (Other report 50%) and 27% Tajiks (Other report 22%, they seems to be an attempt to max the number of Tajiks and Uzbeks while minimizing the number of Pasthuns and Hazaras).

Now the Hazara, who make up about 9% of the population, this tribe is the largest Shiite Moslem group in Afghanistan, conquered in the late 1800s by the Pasthuns and discriminated afterward for being non-Pasthuns AND Shiites. During the war with the Soviet Union become the single most united group in Afghanistan, but also the group most allied with Iran, thus opposing BOTH the Taliban (Pasthun dominated) and the Northern Alliance (Tajik and Uzbek dominated):
http://countrystudies.us/afghanistan/38.htm

After the Pasthuns, Tajiks and Hazaras come the Aimak at 4% of the population. The Aimaks are a Tajiks people that over time have separated completely from the rest of the Tajiks and as such have an independent tribal system.

Next come the Turkmen population at about 3% of the population. The Turkmens are related to the Turkmen of Turkmenistan (Both speak a variation of Turkish spoken by Turks in Turkey but the Turks in Turkey and the Turkmen in Turkmenistan have been separated by Iran since at least the 12th century, through that was NEVER a complete break). Just a comment that the Turkmen and Turks are separated groups at the present time, unlike the Turkmen of Afghanistan who tend to be related to the Turkmen of Turkmenistan.

The Baloch make up about 2 % of the population of Afghanistan. The Baloch tend to be in Southern Afghanistan north of Baluchistan which is part of Southern Pakistan. They connection is with tribal members in Baluchistan NOT with the test of Afghanistan.

The rest of the population of Afghanistan is about 4% of the populations made up of various minor tribes all independent of each other AND isolated from each other by the various mountains of Afghanistan. While small in population and isolated, they have very strong tribal ties but of a local nature as oppose to anything that crosses any regional border.

Just comment that when you are dealing with the population of Afghanistan you are NOT dealing with anyone who sees himself or herself as an "Afghan" but someone tied in with some other group, a local tribe as seen in the Aimaks and Hazara, a more regional tribe as seen in the Pasthuns, or groups who see themselves as belonging to a larger, but foreign group such as the Turkmen, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Balochs, Kyrgyzs, and the Kazakhs, all of which have large populations outside of Afghanistan from which they can get support (The Kazakhs and Kyrgyzs, both have a very small number of people in Afghanistan, these are two people that make up the 4% "other tribes", but some Kazakhs exist inside Afghanistan).
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. Duh.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. That's another thing I find to be so incredible.
Edited on Sun Apr-11-10 01:32 AM by sabrina 1
The U.S. training other country's troops. Looks to me like they do quite well fighting off empires in that country without any 'training' from us. We've been there nearly 10 years, and we haven't beaten them yet. Maybe WE should be learning from them.

Or maybe we should realize by now that they don't want us there, but will take advantage of the money and whatever else we give them, only to use it against us later on. It's always been that way.

But then, we are not there for the reasons we claim, and the people of Afghanistan know that. They have said so.
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IScreamSundays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. We are there to control the drug trade
It is the only thing left to prop up wall street. We aren't going anywhere; Not in our lifetimes.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. I am sure we will be as successful in Afghanistan as we were in Mexico and Colombia
The phony and failed War on Drugs is no reason to put our GIs in harm's way.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:58 PM
Original message
Dupe
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 04:58 PM by Cleita
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Another clusterfuck for the history books. n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Gosh, I sure hope they do not become hostages. nt
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
8. Life's a bitch
.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. Get out NOW! This is a no-Brainer....
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 01:22 AM
Response to Original message
12. Shut the base. Easy call.
Of course, as an anti-imperialist, I want to curtail US interference in that region as well as others. It's time to reassert the concept of national sovereignty for ALL states.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
15. That is a battalion or squadron (Cav) size unit
hope they get out
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
17. Obama should have brought all the troops home last year
This is collateral damage from Obama's failed and bankrupt war policies.
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
19. Gateway to Hell
from wiki:

2009 threat of closure and restructuring

Russian news coverage of the vote to close Manas Air Base in the Kyrgyzstani Parliament.On 3 February 2009, Kyrgyzstani President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced that Manas Air Base would soon be closed.<16> Bakiyev said that economic considerations and the negative public attitude towards the base contributed to the decision.<17> A bill calling for the closure of the base and the eviction of U.S. forces was passed by the Kyrgyz parliament by a vote of 78 to one on 19 February 2009.<5> The following day, 20 February, an official eviction notice was delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, according to the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.<18>

The news of the base's closure followed the announcement of a new agreement between Russia and Kyrgyzstan in which Kyrgyzstan will receive $2 billion in loans and $150 million in financial aid from Russia.<19> Most observers see the two events as connected, and believe that Russian financial assistance was offered on the condition that U.S. forces were expelled from Kyrgyzstan.<20><21><22><23> Currently, the U.S. governments gives $150 million in aid annually to Kyrgyzstan.<20> According to General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, around $63 million of that sum is directly connected to the base.<24> The larger Russian package is viewed by some analysts as an effort to "out-bid" the Americans.<20>

Referring to the closure of Manas Air Base, Pentagon spokesman Geoff S. Morrell directly accused Russia of "attempting to undermine use of that facility".<19> U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also said that, "The Russians are trying to have it both ways with respect to Afghanistan in terms of Manas. On one hand you're making positive noises about working with us in Afghanistan, and on the other hand you're working against us in terms of that airfield which is clearly important to us."<23> However Russian President Dmitry Medvedev distanced his country from the announcement, saying that it was "within the competence of the Kyrgyz Republic" to decide how the Manas base functioned.<19>

On 23 June 2009 a new deal was reached between the U.S. and Kyrgyz governments. It was ratified by the Kyrgyz parliament two days later, and signed into law by President Bakiyev on 7 July.<25><26> Under the terms of the new agreement, U.S. payment for use of the facilities will increase from $17.1 million to $60 million. An additional $117 million will be given to the Kyrgyz government, including $36 million for upgrading the airport with additional storage facilities and aircraft parking, $21 million for fighting drug trafficking in the country, and $20 million for economic development.<7><27>

The facility's official title will also be altered under the new agreement. Instead of being referred to as "Manas Air Base", it will become the "Transit Center at Manas International Airport".<27> According to a Kyrgyz government spokesman, the facility will officially cease to be an air base in August 2009, after which point its legal status would be altered to a logistic center.<25> Additionally, security around the base will now be handled by Kyrgyz personnel, as opposed to American servicemen.<6>

Several local political observers believe that despite the changes in the new agreement, activities at the base will continue unaltered, and in fact, as of March of 2010, operations continue.<27><6> The new agreement does not appear to restrict the kind of materials U.S. forces can move into and out of the base.<6>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_Center_at_Manas
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