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Oct 18, 2021
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Will there be a US military base in Uzbekistan?

Geopolitical maneuvers continue around Afghanistan, which are becoming more and more serious in terms of the possibility of another major destabilization of the situation. That this is not empty talk is proved by the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said: “According to our data, the number of ISIS members * in the north of Afghanistan is about two thousand people. Their leaders are hatching plans to spread their influence over the Central Asian states, over the Russian regions, and are betting on inciting ethnic and confessional conflicts and religious hatred. Terrorists seek to penetrate the territory of the Commonwealth, including disguised as refugees “… And in Afghanistan, they, according to the head of the Russian Federation, come from Syria and Iraq.

In other words, the likelihood of an attempt at a large-scale armed attack by militants from Afghanistan on some Central Asian country is growing. And it is important that we are not talking about the “Taliban” banned in Russia, but about the terrorists of the IS group banned in Russia * and other no less radical groups that were not killed in Syria and Iraq. Now they flow to where there is more space for them. There is reason to believe that their migration is taking place not without the help of certain forces in the United States, which are aimed at destabilizing Russia (through Central Asia), China, Iran and Afghanistan itself (it is difficult to believe that major terrorist attacks there have recently begun to happen just like that ). And in order to more effectively control what is happening in Afghanistan, the Americans do not abandon their attempts to settle nearby.

Version Politico reported that the possibility of deploying US anti-terrorist forces in Uzbekistan is being discussed. This country was not chosen by Washington by chance. Firstly, America’s relations with Pakistan have long been not getting along, which means that only Central Asia remains. Secondly, Uzbekistan is not a member of the CSTO, and recently the country’s foreign minister said that Tashkent does not plan to renew its membership in the organization. Thirdly, Uzbekistan is a geographically central country in Central Asia, and this or that presence in it will allow influencing not only Afghanistan.

Walking with the USA and Uzbekistan flags

Could it be that the US military will return to Uzbekistan? On the one hand, the same head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan said: “This question is not worth it and is not discussed.”… The Ministry of Defense in Tashkent says the same. In addition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted: “All our Central Asian friends say that they do not want this kind of visits from the United States or other NATO countries.”… On the other hand, anything can be promised (especially in Asia). And the long games of Kyrgyzstan with the American military base at the Manas airport (which was presented as the US Air Force Transit Center) during the times of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev show that if you want you can get out, and the fact that Uzbekistan refrains from membership in the CSTO creates additional field for maneuver.

Nevertheless, large joint exercises of Uzbekistan, Russia and Tajikistan were held in August (in fact, Tashkent is present in the common security system, not to mention cooperation within the framework of the CIS and the SCO). In addition, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, following a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, said that Russia does not accept the American military presence in Central Asia (it is difficult to imagine a clearer signal to both America and the countries of the region). Thirdly, where there is a stick, there is a carrot: Russia recently allowed entry for 158 thousand citizens of Uzbekistan, for whom it was previously prohibited (if necessary, you can do the opposite).

Finally, if Uzbekistan does not hear Russia, the same will be communicated to it by China, which takes painful economic actions if partners ignore its strategic interests (by the way, over the past three years, China has been holding first place in foreign trade with Uzbekistan).

As a result, it is worth believing the head of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, because there, apparently, they understand that close military-political cooperation with the United States has much more foreign policy minuses and economic risks than pluses (Moscow and Beijing will not sit idly by). And the lesson of the Andijan uprising, which the Americans could have had a hand in (it was not for nothing that Islam Karimov expelled them from the Khanabad military base shortly afterwards), is hardly forgotten.

Summarizing, we can say that the “resettlement” of radical Islamists to Afghanistan (which is very similar to a planned transfer), major terrorist attacks on Afghan territory and Washington’s flirtation with Tashkent confirm the assumption that the Americans left Afghanistan, but they want to turn him into a springboard for destabilizing neighboring countries. And in order to better control the process, they strive, under any pretext, to get into at least one of the Central Asian countries. They like easy money, but, most likely, they understand that relations with Russia and China are more important, since the economic response (for example, through the migration sphere) will be much more significant, and in the event of an attempt by the militants from Afghanistan, the Russians will help, and not American soldiers.

In conclusion, I would like to draw your attention to one dangerous trend. Those who closely follow the Russian information space could not help but notice that lately materials have begun to appear in it more and more often. about manifestations of anti-Russian nationalism in the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan). This, of course, causes outrage among the citizens of Russia. However, despite the fact that in Central Asia there really are certain problems in this area and the authorities are flirting with nationalists, it would be wrong to believe that Russophobia in the republics of the region is at the same level as in Ukraine or the Baltic states.

Accordingly, it is worth considering: maybe someone specifically launched this information campaign in order to embroil Russia with its Central Asian allies? After all, if there is no unity, it will be more difficult to cope with the threat from Afghanistan.

Cover photo: US AIR FORCE

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