14 thoughts on “United States arms to Uzbekistan dictator

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  4. U.S. Military Base In Uzbekistan To Counter Russia In Central Asia

    August 24, 2012

    Interfax-Military
    August 24, 2012

    U.S. base deployment in Uzbekistan will dent Russia’s influence in Central Asia – general

    MOSCOW: Washington’s plans to deploy a military base on Uzbek territory could entail negative political and economic consequences for Moscow, Lt. Gen. Leonid Sazhin, a Russian military expert, told Interfax-AVN.

    According to recent media reports, Washington launched negotiations with Tashkent addressing the possible establishment of a so-called Operative Reaction Center in Uzbekistan, which could accommodate warehouses storing weapons and military hardware following the U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.

    Such a scenario is “quite probable,” Sazhin said.

    “A tentative decision on this matter was most likely adopted before Mr. Karimov [Uzbek President Islam Karimov] turned his back on Russia once again – too many overseas visitors traveled there,” the expert said.

    Uzbekistan quit the Collective Security Treaty Organization in June 2012.

    “The deployment of such an American facility, no matter what they call it, will entail negative political and economic consequences both for Russia and the Central Asian region in general,” he said.

    “Although Americans claims that they are fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan today, it will be them who, by deploying their facility in Uzbekistan, will lead Taliban members there,” Sazhin said.

    “Taliban ideologists will inevitably take advantage of the American presence in Uzbekistan to fuel anti-American sentiments among the local population and win some of them over to their side. As a result, anti-American sentiments will spill over into anti-government demonstrations,” the Russian expert said.

    “This problem also has a military-economic component. Americans know how to count money. It is more profitable for them to store weapons withdrawn from Afghanistan nearby than drag them all the way to [America],” he said.

    http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/u-s-military-base-in-uzbekistan-to-counter-russia-in-central-asia/

  5. Strategic Culture Foundation

    August 27, 2012

    US Plan for a Base in Uzbekistan to Materialize?

    Aleksandr Shustov

    Edited by RR

    ====

    Uzbekistan shares borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan and sits fairly close to Iran and China, all of the countries potentially falling within reach of US forces to be dispatched to the new base.

    ====

    Geopolitically, the dust is settling in Central Asia in the wake of the noisy Arab Spring. Part of the outcome is likely to be Uzbekistan’s policy swing that would place it solidly in the camp of the US military and its allies as the next leap after the republic put on hold its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In the meantime, Washington is making vigorous efforts to reset to zero Russian influence over Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the two Central Asian republics where Russia currently maintains military bases.

    US Undersecretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake toured the region on August 15-17. Initially, his itinerary included stays in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. In Astana [Kazakhstan], he was supposed to be selling the New Silk Road project propped up by the US and clearly aimed to exclude Russia from the Eurasian transit web. In a last-moment adjustment, Blake’s priorities tilted towards Tashkent – on August 15, he met with Uzbek president Islam Karimov and on August 16 Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry hosted a third round of talks with the US coupled with a US-Uzbek business forum. The official account of the negotiations mentioned a wide range of political, economic, and security issues being touched upon, with no specific deals previously unheard of, but, in fact, those have likely been sealed under wraps.

    During Blake’s visit, the intrigue revolved around a hypothetical US plan, recently cited by the Kazakh Liter newspaper, to plant a military base in Uzbekistan. The point set forth in Liter was that the arrangement would fit neatly with Uzbekistan’s foreign policy logic, considering that the republic only briefly flirted with Russia after coming under fiery criticism in the West over the handling of the 2005 Andijan drama.

    By signaling a green light to a US military base on its territory, Uzbekistan would earn the status of Washington’s key regional partner, with generous economic and military aid, important guarantees, and a fresh sense of confidence vis-a-vis its neighbors with whom Tashkent occasionally gets locked in bitter resources-related disputes. For the US, the benefit of the partnership would be to have a foothold in Uzbekistan with an eye to muscling Russia and China in and beyond Central Asia.

    By all means, the article in Liter, an outlet of Kazakhstan’s ruling Nur Otan party, saw the light of day for serious reasons. On August 23, Russia’s Kommersant business daily quoted sources with connections within the Uzbek foreign ministry as saying that Washington and Tashkent opened talks on the creation of an Operative Reaction Center in Uzbekistan charged with the mission of tight coordination to be launched if trouble starts to spill over after the 2014 US withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to Kommersant, the facility would be the biggest one to be run by the US in Central Asia. That, among other things, explains how and why the US plans to distribute much of the army materiel pulled out of Afghanistan among the Central Asian republics: some would be supplied for free to Uzbekistan on a permanent basis to reinforce the Center and some passed to the republic temporarily.

    The US has a record of deploying military infrastructures in Uzbekistan. There used to be one – the Karshi-Khanabad base – in 2001-2005 at the Khanabad military aerodrome sited at a distance of 10 km from Karshi in the Qashqadaryo province. Its status was defined by an accord signed in October, 2001, and the US had to rebuild the facility from scratch to later keep there a fleet comprised of a group of S-130 transports, a dozen Black Hawks, and around 1,500 servicemen.

    The Karshi-Khanabad base was used to support US operations in Afghanistan, but the US-Uzbek honeymoon came to an end as, under public pressure, Washington urged a fair probe into the 2005 Andijan unrest. In response, Tashkent stated in July, 2005 that US forces were to leave Karshi-Khanabad within a span of six months, which they did by November of the same year, with the homeless aircraft relocating to Bagram airfield in Afghanistan or the Manas airbase leased to the US by Kyrgyzstan.

    The plan for an Operative Reaction Center described by Kommersant implies a US military presence of more impressive proportions, as much of the US power would be shifted to the post-Soviet space. If the US get a go-ahead in Uzbekistan, the new base would be packed with aircraft, armored vehicles, and support infrastructures like arsenals and food depots, while US forces on the premises would far outnumber those that formerly inhabited Karshi-Khanabad. Washington evidently hopes to engage with Uzbekistan as Central Asia’s most populous republic and second-biggest economy strategically positioned in the region. Uzbekistan shares borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan and sits fairly close to Iran and China, all of the countries potentially falling within reach of US forces to be dispatched to the new base.

    Under the circumstances, Moscow simply must take steps to dig into Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. A two-day negotiating marathon between Kyrgyz leader Almazbek Atambayev and Russia’s deputy premier Igor Shuvalov took place in Bishkek this month, and at that time a package of three agreements – on military, economic, and energy cooperation – was scheduled to be inked next fall. Chances are that deals on the construction of the Kambarata-1 hydropower plant and the Upper Naryn hydropower cascade – both of key importance to Bishkek – will go through earlier than September 15. Above all, Kyrgyzstan said OK to a Russian military base on its soil (with a lease term of 15 years). Against that background, it does remain unclear whether the US airbase in Manas is there to stay or will be closed in line with Atambayev’s campaign pledge.

    A question mark also hangs over the role of Tajikistan in the disposition now taking shape. Talks between Moscow and Dushanbe meant to hammer out an agreement on the lease term for Russia’s 201th base in the republic are deadlocked, and at the moment unofficial reports indicate that the Tajik administration has offered to renew the existing contract till 2016 instead of having it replaced, and promises greater flexibility later on. The problem, though, is that Tajikistan is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013-2014, the incumbent Emomali Rahmonov is being challenged by a cohort of rivals, some of them US-backed, and, given the prospects for regime change in Tajikistan, Moscow might raise strong objections to the delay.

    No doubt, Moscow would be confronted with a situation calling for a tougher than ever strategy if the Operative Reaction Center – a US military base to stay indefinitely in post-Soviet space regarding which Russia has serious ambitions – pops up in Uzbekistan. Following upon several makeshift bases narrowly geared to supply the Western coalition in Afghanistan, the facility would come as a slap in the face to Moscow, a humiliation comparable to what Washington would have experienced seeing Russia install a military base in Mexico, Nicaragua, or Cuba.

  6. Target often offers prices that seem too good to be true – so how do they keep their prices so low?

    It turns out some of Target’s products might be so cheap because they are made with slave-picked cotton from Uzbekistan and/or purchased from Daewoo International, a company that accounts for approximately 20% of all cotton processed in Uzbekistan.

    Tell Target to sign the Daewoo Protocol, a serious step toward fighting modern slavery in Uzbekistan.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    —-

    Walk Free: The Movement to End Modern Slavery

    Dear Activist,

    We know – a great deal can be hard to resist. And Target often offers prices that seem too good to be true. It makes you think – how do they keep their prices so low? We’ve recently learned that some of Target’s products might be so cheap because they are made with slave-picked cotton from Uzbekistan and/or purchased from Daewoo International, a company that accounts for approximately 20% of all cotton processed in Uzbekistan.

    Every year, during the harvest season, over a million children and adults – including teachers, nurses and doctors – are ripped out of their homes, schools and jobs, and forced to work in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan to meet daily picking quotas.

    While Target has signed the pledge to not buy slave-picked Uzbek cotton, they are still doing business with Daewoo, a company that clearly profits from the exploitation of children and adults in Uzbekistan.

    If Target is truly serious about keeping slavery out of its stores, Target needs to stop doing business with Daewoo and agree to implement the Daewoo Protocol – a series of steps companies need to take to eliminate slave-picked cotton from their supply chains.

    Call on Target to eliminate the threat of slave-picked cotton in their stores by joining the Daewoo Protocol.

    We expect more from Target, a company that takes pride in holding the highest ethical standards for itself and for its business partners.

    So we called and asked Target to join the Daewoo Protocol which is supported by retailers declining to do business with Daewoo until it takes serious steps to stop sourcing slave-picked Uzbek cotton.

    Target said they didn’t need to sign the Daewoo Protocol because they have a “No Uzbek Cotton” policy. But such a policy only works if you’re willing to enforce it.

    Tell Target to sign the Daewoo Protocol and stop supporting modern slavery in Uzbekistan.

    After you take action, please take a moment to spread the word by forwarding this email to 3 of your friends.

    Thank you,

    Debra, Nick, Jacqui, Jessica, Hayley, Jess, Mich, Amy and the Walk Free Team
    Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.

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