Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice secured a deal with Kyrgyzstan this week, giving the U.S. the right to keep using a Kyrgyz airbase. The new Kyrgyz government, which took power last spring in the so-called Tulip Revolution, had been reluctant to honor its predecessor’s agreement on renting the base. Under the new deal, Kyrgyzstan will get more money, plus U.S. help in tracking down the roughly $45 million the U.S. had been paying annually to use the base. The Kyrgyz suspect that the family of their former president, Askar Akayev, pocketed most of it. The U.S. military needs the base to support troops in nearby Afghanistan; neighboring Uzbekistan recently asked U.S. forces to leave its bases.
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