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Politics

Russia opposes possible US base in Central Asia

By: Lailuma Noori

Russia has warned of possible US military base in Central Asian countries following full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Russia stated its opposition Tuesday to a possible plan by the United States to deploy its troops in Central Asia countries once it pulls out its troops from Afghanistan on August 31, which will also mark the end of two decades of military engagement in Afghanistan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan in the past decades did not result in a victory for the US in Afghanistan and questioned what the US wants to achieve by deployingtroops outside.
“Separate from the collective security treaty, there are some indications that the Pentagon officials are trying to transfer their resources along (in neighboring regions) of Afghanistan in order to attack Afghanistan if needed,” said the Russian Foreign Minister.
What will be the result of presence of fewer troops outside Afghanistan?
A spokesperson to Afghanistan Ministry of Defense says international terrorism requires international effort to fight it; therefore, cooperation of other countries with Afghanistan will never pose threat to other countries.
Meanwhile, former US ambassador to Kabul and dean of US faculty for diplomacy Roland Newman says establishment of a military base to support Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will be very useful and it will be very challenging to support the Afghan forces in case such bases is not created in the region.
Amid full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the establishment of US possible military base in Central Asia can be effective for supporting the Afghan security forces in war on terror based on analysis done in this regard. The base is considered as a joint cooperating front with Central Asian countries for maintaining the security of northern parts of Afghanistan.
On the other hand, Russian officials and Central Asian countries have repeatedly warned of suspicious and secret activities of terrorist groups in the region. Russian officials particularly hinted and warned of IS – Khurasan as one of section of Daesh, having thousands of fighters in Afghanistan.
Russian’s increasing concern over presence of IS-Khurasan in the region has raised the concern of the Central Asian countries.
It is said that one of the three countries as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan said to be hosting the US possible military base. Both Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have the membership of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Currently, the respective countries are hosting military bases of the Russia. Therefore, establishment of US possible military bases in the respective countries will require more complicated conditions than the CSTO.
Yet, Uzbekistan has no membership of any security organizations in the region for now. Therefore, it seems the country has good and easy condition to host the US military base.
The country had hosted a US military base in 2001 too.

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