Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Airbase
The Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Airbase, the home of Camp Stronghold Freedom, an Army logistics base established in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is "at the site of an old, Soviet-era air base in Uzbekistan and general conditions are harsh." 
"Citing unnamed Pentagon and State Department officials," on July 30, 2005, the Washington Post reported that a notice of eviction of the U.S. from the Karshi-Khanabad air base was "delivered by a courier from the Uzbek foreign ministry to the US Embassy in Tashkent" on July 29, 2005. "Uzbekistan will give the United States 180 days to move aircraft, personnel and equipment, according to the report." 
- Sergei Mironov, speaker of the upper house, was quoted "as saying 'the Uzbek authorities took an absolutely pragmatic and logical step. ... The U.S. has often said that the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan is over and it’s time for the Americans to leave Uzbekistan.'" 
- "Uzbekistan expressed indignation with the U.S. role in the evacuation of Uzbek refugees from neighboring Kyrgyzstan. The Uzbek Foreign Ministry said on Monday [August 1, 2005] it considers the evacuation as interference in their interior affairs. The statement said the evacuation of about 440 Uzbek citizens on July 28-29 was committed 'with violations of all procedures and norms of international law and UN decisions.' Uzbekistan noted that the operation was committed secretly without allowing media access."
quid pro quo
According to the Global Security website, during a visit to Uzbekistan by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, an agreement was reached "allowing US forces to use Soviet-era military bases to support Operation Enduring Freedom." In exchange, President Islam Karimov "received security assurances, and an implied US commitment to ignore complaints about human rights violations in the country. The agreement distanced the country from its powerful neighbor, Russia." 
"Karshi-Khanabad air base, known as K2, is 90 miles from the border and two hours' flying time from anywhere in Afghanistan. It's also the main hub for civilian contractors from Halliburton Co. subsidiary KBR to catch military flights into Afghanistan," the Associated Press's Burt Herman, who was granted access to K2 in 2004.
"The United States has spent $5 million to double the amount of parking space for planes, and about 20 lumbering C-130-type transport aircraft are based at K2.
"New barracks are going up, so all the base’s 1,750 personnel — 900 Air Force, 400 Army and 450 civilians — will be out of tents by fall. Also coming soon are an expanded $500,000 fitness center, a new $1 million dining hall and a movie theater. Roads are being paved, with some already named Wall St. or Fifth Ave. in honor of New York and the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"All the bustle at K2 makes it appear it will figure strongly in the Pentagon's post-Cold War realignment from long-held bases in Europe closer to the 21st century’s hot spots. But U.S. officials and base commanders say no long-term plans have been made, and the new buildings are mostly prefabs that can be removed quickly," Herman wrote. 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- "Khanabad, Uzbekistan (K2) Airbase. Camp Stronghold Freedom," Global Security.org website; accessed August 3, 2005.
- Photo Essay: Kharshi-Khanabad Air Base, DefendAmerica.mil website.
Articles & Commentary
- Note: The following links are related to events in both the creation of and possible U.S. eviction from K2.
- Burt Herman, "Uzbek base taking shape," Associated Press (Air Force Times), May 4, 2004: "More than 2½ years after Uzbekistan allowed U.S. forces to use the base — the first American deployment in the former Soviet Union — it remains a key transit and support point for operations in Afghanistan.".
- "Putin Strikes Strategic Deal with Uzbekistan," MosNews, June 17, 2004.
- Master Sgt. Orville F. Desjarlais, Jr., "Guardsmen making K-2 connections," Air Force Print News, November 1, 2004.
- Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol, "Air terminal operators keep OEF freight, passengers moving," 416th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs, Air Force Print News, March 16, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan back from the brink?" World War 4 Report, May 19, 2005.
- Kadyr Toktogulov, "AP: U.S. troops unaffected by Uzbek unrest," Associated Press (Boston Globe), May 22, 2005.
- Shamil Baigin, "U.S. senators call for inquiry into Uzbek killings (of Islamic terrorists)," Reuters (Free Republic), May 29, 2005" Republican U.S. senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Sununu "reprimanded U.S. ally Uzbekistan ... for refusing to allow an international investigation into hundreds of deaths in the eastern town of Andizhan earlier this month ... in which witnesses said troops opened fire on demonstrators and killed about 500 people."
- "China May 'Seriously Consider' Sending Troops to Kyrgyzstan," RIA Novosti, May 31, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan: New Report Documents Massacre. May 13 Killings in Andijan Need Fuller Investigation," Human Rights Watch, June 7, 2005.
- "U.S. Hints at Penalties for Uzbekistan Over Andijan Bloodshed Inquiry," MosNews, June 15, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan Bans Night Flights at U.S. Air Base," MosNews, June 16, 2005.
- "American Planes Fly out of Uzbekistan in Disgrace," Kommersant, June 16, 2005: "Yesterday it was learned that U.S. Air Force planes stationed in Uzbekistan were moved from the Karshi-Khanabal [sic] military base to bases in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. The move was made after the Uzbek authorities prohibited the Americans from making night flights. This is Tashkent's way of responding to intensifying pressure from the West for an independent investigation of the events in Andijan."
- "Uzbekistan Says Limitations on U.S. Air Base Use Planned Long Before Andijan Massacre," MosNews, June 18, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan ready to allow Russian military units on its territory," RIA Novosti (Russia), June 30, 2005.
- "China and Russia Call for U.S. Withdrawal from Central Asia," Associated Press (Free Republic/New York Times), July 5, 2005.
- "US Told to Leave Central Asia," World News Australia, July 6, 2005.
- "US: Washington Rejects Call for Troop Pull-Out from Central Asia," AKI/DAWN, July 7, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan Wants U.S. to Pay for Airbase," MosNews, July 8, 2005: "Uzbekistan has suggested the U.S. should pay for the use of an airbase set up to support operations in Afghanistan if Washington wants to keep its presence in the region, Reuters reported."
- Ethan Wilensky-Lanford, "Uzbeks Threaten to Evict U.S. From an Air Base Near Afghanistan," New York Times (Free Republic), July 8, 2005.
- Aziz Nuritov, "Uzbekistan mulls the future of a key US air base. Wants a timetable for military pullout," Associated Press (Boston Globe), July 8, 2005.
- "U.N. to Take Uzbek Refugees From Kyrgyzstan to Romania," MosNews, July 27, 2005.
- Barry Newhouse, "Uzbekistan Terminates US Air Base Agreement," Voice of America, July 30, 2005.
- "US military evicted from Uzbek air base: report," AFP, July 30, 2005.
- "US loses key base in Central Asia," BBC, July 31, 2005.
- "Uzbekistan Gives U.S. 6 Months to Withdraw K2 Air Base," MosNews, August 1, 2005.
- "Russia’s Top Parliamentarian Supports Uzbek Decision to Close U.S. Base," MosNews, August 1, 2005.