May 8, 2007

A whisper campaign in Bishkek...

...could signal the "begining of the end" for Manas.

"On May 3 Marie Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, denied reports that the Manas base near Bishkek is being used to store nuclear weapons for a possible attack on Iran. Yovanovitch commented on the 'ridiculous' nature of these allegations, which suggested that the U.S. military could use low-yield nuclear weapons to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, should military action prove necessary. She reiterated that the base is used exclusively for transferring humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan. Interestingly, it seems this speculation originated from within the Kyrgyz intelligence services." (Jamestown)

The whipser campaig is not as important as the perceptions in which it took root. The fact that it reached such a point, requiring an ambassaorial denial, demonstrates how quickly a brushfire can spread. But this theme will likely continue, and the US position in Central Asia is dangerously suseptable to the next rumor, planted by Kyrgyz intelligence -- if true.

While the endgame is still far off, events like this often signal the begining, of the begining, of the end.

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