What was the purpose of Donald Rumsfeld's visits to Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan
There was no official statement on the agenda of the meetings with top Azerbaijan
But the very next day, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Johns,
issued a statement in the local press saying that the U.S. planned to deploy
military bases in the Caspian region in order to ensure regional security.
Azerbaijan is seen as one of the launch pads for launching an attack on Iran,
which some see coming as early as June.
Local analysts say that the deal was already all but tied up and Rumsfeld's
visit was simply part of the finalization process.
Russian news analysis websites have expressed concern at the deal, fearing
it could escalate the likelihood of a US-Russian confrontation. Russia is an
ally of Iran and sees the Caspian as its own stomping ground.
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