America is set to lose its last-remaining Afghan supply base in central Asia. Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan has served as a transit point for thousands of American troops and equipment passing to and from Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz parliament’s decision to shut it down within 180 days poses a logistical problem for President Obama as he prepares to step up the fight against the Taliban.
Kyrgyzstan announced the base would be closed after accepting one and a half billion euros in new Russian aid and loans. The Kyrgyz president said the base rent had increased, and said Washington had refused to pay. The US and its allies also fly troops and materials to Afghanistan from bases in Europe and the Gulf, and will increase this traffic to make up for the loss of Manas.