International News: Violence in Kyrgystan

Learn Something // News

On the international front, the New York Times had a story on the declining violence in Kyrgyzstan, however the article came with some bad news:

As humanitarian aid began to flow into a south depleted of supplies, the office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights said its investigators believed that the conflict may have been touched off by five coordinated attacks by separate groups of armed men last Thursday night in different parts of Osh, the largest city in the south.

Now I’ll admit that I don’t pay much attention to developments in central Asia, nor does our Foreign Affairs Committee write much on the topic. I was intrigued, however, by the Foreign Policy headline: Has the U.S. given up on Central Asia?

What do you do when large-scale ethnic violence breaks out in a country where you have a key military base, but the local government can do nothing to stop it? When that country is situated in a region on which you have spent untold hours of diplomatic effort and hundreds of millions of dollars over an 18-year period, and staked a claim to a primary seat at the table of influence? Where matters like oil, the Taliban, narcotics and nuclear trafficking intersect? But all this happens while your military is stretched to the breaking point elsewhere, and, to be blunt, you have other fish to fry?

You phone the Russians.