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WAR ON TERRORISM -
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WASHINGTON, DC AND TASHKENT

Posted in the database on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 01:51:35 MST (1000 views)
from The Wayne Madsen Report  

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As first reported here on July 8, relations between Washington and Tashkent finally boiled over after evidence that Pentagon special operations teams were involved in the Islamist revolt against President Islam Karimov's government in the town of Andijan on May 17. On July 29, Tashkent formally evicted the United States from its airbase at Karshi-Khanabad, also known as "K2." The Pentagon was given 180 days to evacuate all personnel, aircraft, and equipment from the base, which had been used by the United States since the Afghan war broke out following 911. The State Department was apparently blindsided by the abrupt Uzbek decision. It planned to send a diplomat to Tashkent on August 2 to negotiate the base's future. However, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had already decided to scrap K2 after he secured continued basing rights in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Uzbek media has been abuzz with revelations that Pentagon special operations teams secretly met in Afghanistan with Tohir Yoldashev and members of his Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist organization allied to "Al Qaeda." The meetings were reported to have occurred before and after the Andijan revolt, which was blamed on IMU forces. The US-IMU meetings in Afghanistan were also referenced in an article in Asia Times by India's former ambassador to Uzbekistan and Turkey, M. K. Bhadrakumar.

The Uzbek government obviously believes the Pentagon has been dealing with terrorist groups and decided to deny the Americans a base from which they might be using to foment Islamist terrorist operations in Uzbekistan and in surrounding countries.



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