I doubted yesterday that the Obama administration would seek a return to the Karshi-Khanabad air base in Uzbekistan -- the government of Islam Karimov kicked
I doubted yesterday that the Obama administration would seek a return to the Karshi-Khanabad air base in Uzbekistan — the government of Islam Karimov kicked the United States out in 2005 after the Bush administration admirably denounced one of his civilian massacres — but it seems I was wrong about that. In the aftermath of losing Kyrgyzstan’s Manas air base, a key staging ground for resupplying the Afghanistan war, necessity is evidently trumping human rights. Then again, as Michael Tomasky points out, it’s not like Kyrgyzstan’s human rights record is much better than Uzbekistan’s, so we’re probably wrong to elevate this to the level of principle.
Still, dealing with Karimov is unseemly. The Wall Street Journal reports that alternatives to both Manas and Karshi Khanabad include bases in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — neither of which are flourishing liberal democracies, but also aren’t egregious human rights violators to the degree Uzbekistan is. Both, of course, are much further from Afghanistan than Uzbekistan is. Not that I know the first thing about how to determine what is and isn’t a suitable air base.
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
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If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.
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