September 19, 2005: Russia is giving Kyrgyzstan some assault rifles and
helicopters, as part of the Russian program of firming up its control and
influence in Central Asia. These weapons are ostensibly for counter-terror
September 15, 2005: In Tajikistan, Russian troops
demonstrated counter-terror operations for observers from the Tajik armed
September 11, 2005: Despite 6,000 Russian troops helping defend
its Afghan border, Tajikistan has offered to provide a base for the United
States, to replace the one lost in neighboring Uzbekistan. Tajikistan has always
been a little nervous about being too cozy with Russia. The Central Asian
states, that used to be part of the former Soviet Union, want to be independent,
but most are run by dictators who are former Soviet bureaucrats.
In Uzbekistan, 200 Russian paratroopers and 200 Uzbek
mountain troops trained together in counter-terrorist exercises.