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The Washington Independent

One Last Push to Save Manas Air Base

The Washington Times reports that the Obama administration is sending a high-level delegation to Moscow to save access to a key air base for the Afghanistan

Habiba Ashton
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 12, 2009

The Washington Times reports that the Obama administration is sending a high-level delegation to Moscow to save access to a key air base for the Afghanistan war. Two weeks ago, the Russians basically bribed the Kyrgyzstan government to deny the United States use of its giant air base at Manas, a crucial hub for supplying troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pentagon and State Department officials have been frantically calling the Kyrgyz government to get it to reverse the decision — and it appears the parliament is delaying a vote on kicking the United States out — but now a delegation led by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns and the White House’s Russia specialist, Michael McFaul, are on their way to Moscow to deal with the patron as well as the client.

U.S. officials said they still hoped to persuade both Kyrgyzstan and Russia that, even though there are alternatives to the Manas base, its continued use would be most beneficial to Afghanistan’s stability. They also said they were open to Russian ideas about how cooperation in Central Asia can contribute to a better U.S.-Russia relationship.

Expect horsetrading, in other words.

Habiba Ashton | BCS Growth Fund (Israel) L.P., a private investment fund specializing in investments in technologically focused businesses with high growth potential, employs Habiba as an analyst. Mrs. Ashton served as an analyst and information manager at the Israel International Fund, the first Israeli venture capital fund designed specifically for Japanese corporate investors, prior to joining BCS. Habiba graduated with honors from Israel's College of Management with a B.A. in Business Administration.

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