Russian Trud daily about the US presence in the Central Asia
Presence of the US military personnel in the Central Asia is the very link in the chain of events of the last months, which allow changing political climate of newly established states of the region. Thus, the assistance of the US State Secretry Elizabeth Jones recently announced Central Asia as the zone of the US geo-strategic interests with all circumstances. For Washington the value of newly independent states possessing huge resources - Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan - is immeasurably higher than the one of traditional partners of the US.
Henceforth, the levers of influence of the White House on the elite of the Central Asian states are becoming stronger. After the defeat of talibs, deployment of the US forces and financial inflow into this region the mechanism of decision making in strategically important issues of the capitals of the Middle Asia and Southern Caucasus will be carried out with active participation of Washington. There should be many reasons for durable presence of the US in the region. For example, encroachment on the pipeline, which is under the construction, may be treated as an act of terrorism. Information spread in the world press about the participation of the US servicemen in a coup d'etat in Venezuela cause thoughts about possible future scenario in the Central Asia.
Meanwhile, Washington ignores the fact that the readiness of a number of regional states to contribute to the success of fight against terrorism and fighters of Al Quaeda does not mean their accord for any limitation of sovereignty and independence for pursuing its own domestic and foreign policy. It is likely that Washington neglects the fact that "vital interests" are peculiar to these Central Asia states as well. Thus, the aspiration of the Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov to make more active entire complex of relations and cooperation with Russia and other CIS is being considered by the White House as unwilling fact, threatening to the energy interests of the US in the Central Asia. The fact that the US authorities "have recommended" the Exon Mobile company to stop its activity in Turkmenistan is an evidence to these threat.
What is the reason for such an attitude of the US towards Turkmenistan? The fact is that Saparmurat Niyazov refrains from providing defensive sites of the state for US military needs. In its attempts to get Turkmenistan's accord for use of the bases the US undertake attempts of direct pressure on the Turkmen authorities. This is proved by the content of the program broadcasted by the RFE/RL, which is financed by the US. It is not accidental that the US Ambassador to Ashkhabad L Kennedi refuted reports by Pentagon on complete defeat of fighters in Afghanistan. According to her, in North-Western Afghan provinces there are large armed units, which can threat to the Central Asia states, including Turkmenistan. Thus, for the victory over the 13 military units along the perimeter of Afghanistan the use of airdromes and bases of Turkmenistan are necessary. Otherwise, the White House does not like the number of the units and bases - baker's dozen.