O'Bombers promised withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by 2010, (still ending out 50-60 bombing missions per day) doesn't mean troops returning but being re-deployed to salvage a failed and failing war in Afghanistan and insreasingly in Pakistan.
Only hours after taking office O' Bomber had personally approved air strikes into Pakistan, and in so doing wasted no time in establishing himself as the new warmonger in chief.
Now it is evident that the new "surge" in Afghanistan is meeting tough supply problems both on the ground and in the air suply routes .
1. The Russian Government has long ago indicated that supplies across their territory for military purposes will not be allowed and are not a topic for discussion. Recent announcements confirm this. 26/1/09 " Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Maslov told Itar-Tass, “No official documents were submitted to Russia's permanent mission in NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] certifying that Russia had authorized the United States and NATO to transport military supplies across the country."
2. The Khyber Pass - subject of a continuing war of attrition over several months has suffered a massive breakdown with the bombing of a bridge on the single road into Afghanistan from Peshawar. Asian Times 26/1/2009 "The Peshawar bazaar is doing a roaring business hawking stolen US military ware, as in the 1980s during the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. This volume of business will register a quantum jump following the doubling of the US troop level in Afghanistan to 60,000. Wars are essentially tragedies, but can be comical, too. "
3. Our Mole in Moscow was present when Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev ((he took office in 2005 after replacing Askar Akayev in the so called US sponsored TULIP revolution.) made his way in a vast motorcade to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev - who has announced Russia was providing the poor ex-Soviet country with billions of dollars in aid (AP). The upshot was that Manas airport in the capital Bishkek , which has been home to a thousand-strong American airbase operated by Air Force's 376th Air Expeditionary Wing since 2001 after Kyrgyzstan joined the anti-terror coalition set up in the wake of 9/11 is to close (real soon). The facility was unofficially renamed Ganci Air Base, after Chief Peter J. Ganci Jr., chief of the New York City Fire Department who gave his life Sept. 11 during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. (There are reports of Russian based servers fucking about with Kyrgyz links but we get messages / links without problems)
Our other Mole in Manas points out that this has been a focal point for discussions within the Moscow-Beijing led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) who have been insisting on its closure since 2005. --- see post Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Russia / China join in Anti-American Summit and Wargames, Bishkek and an earlier post Saturday, June 10, 2006 -
The Great Game - Bishkek centre stage
On Monday U.S. regional military chief General David Petraeus was in talks with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev when in the Manas base during a visit to Bishkek on Monday. Reuters report In Bishkek, the U.S. Central Command chief said the possibility of closing the base did not figure in his meetings with the Kyrgyz leaders. gen. Petraues also made his first ever visit to Manas 1th Jan 2009 - General Petraeus visits Manas Air Base (Air Force Link) describing how how the ..."376th AEW is currently supporting operations in Afghanistan as the premiere air mobility hub for Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force. The wing also serves as a main transit point for cargo and coalition personnel passing in and out of Afghanistan."
By an odd coincidence (perhaps) a meeting of deputy foreign ministers from the SCO member countries (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) met in Moscow on January 14 th.... and the The SCO will have Afghanistan high on the agenda at their annual beanfeast / summit scheduled for August in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
4. All this time Russia has also operated Kant airbase near the Kyrgyz capital, just 15 km from the US base which has persistently been upgraded and improved.
5. Friday, August 12, 2005 -Russian Roulette in Central Asian republics. On July 29 2005 the Uzbek Government formally gave the U.S. 180 days to evacuate their Karshi-Khanabad (also written Qarshi-Xonobod) air base on which the the Pentagon has spent huge sums improving and upgrading the base.In the short term the closure of the Karshi-Khanabad air base, loss of jobs and U.S. money would damage the Uzbek economy. The Pentagon had spent huge sums improving and upgrading the base.
However President "Boil in the Bag" Karimov and has beautiful and very rich daughter have had an on / off sly game with both Putin and Bush and some US presence is still allowed - but German planes are still allowed to be based and overfly Uzbekistan on the way to re-supply Afghanistan.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Tashkent 2 weeks ago. Medvedev characterized Russian-Uzbek relations as a "strategic partnership and alliance" and said that on matters relating to Afghanistan, Moscow's cooperation with Tashkent assumed an "exceptional importance". He said he and Uzbek President Islam Karimov agreed that there could be no "unilateral solution" to the Afghan problem and "nothing can be resolved without taking into account the collective opinion of states which have an interest in the resolution of the situation".
Moscow cozies up to Karzai
On top of this Medvedev's remarks coincide with reports that Washington is cruelly cutting Afghan President Hamid Karzai adrift. the Us is apparently planning to install a new "dream team" in Kabul.
Medvedev has written to Karzai offering military aid.
Karzai apparently accepted the Russian offer. Such an acceptance is an implicit breach of US objections that in terms of secret US-Afghan agreements, Kabul needed Washington's prior consent for such dealings with third countries.
... and not forgetting the other players in the region and the importance of energy pipelines to / from fabulously oil / gas rich Caspian to Russia / China ...
By all means consult the posting Sunday, December 16, 2007 How do you solve a problem like Dariga Nazarbayeva ? daughter of Pres. Nazarbyev fro the odd marital relationships between the Kygryz and Kazakh Presidential families. Or see BBC Biog of Kazakh President here.
UPDATE : 4/1/09 Good BBC Online report Wednesday about moves to close base ,""A draft decree on terminating the agreement on the US airbase has been sent to parliament," said Gubment spokeman Aibek Sultangaziyev, he told the BBC that the United States would have six months to close down operations after the measure was approved.
Rather forlornly Colonel Greg Julian, US spokesman in Afghanistan, told the Associated Press that Mr Bakiyev's statement was "political positioning". Jason Straziuso of AP reports under headline 17 hrs ago - US supply routes in Afghanistan squeezed 2 ways -
which sounds an awful lot like whistling in the wind.