Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Airbase

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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." [1][2]


"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." [3]

The Uzbek decision is supported by the Russian Parliament. [4][5]

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.'" [6]
"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." [7]

Strategic Location

"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. [8]

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Articles & Commentary

  • Note: The following links are related to events in both the creation of and possible U.S. eviction from K2.