Thursday, June 11, 2009

America Should Leave Central Asian Air Base

According to this article in the New York Times, the government of the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan has asked the United States to vacate an air base which it has been leasing for the past few years. The base plays an important logistical role for the campaign in Afghanistan, and the United States government is trying to negotiate an extension of the lease.

While it is unfortunate that the closure of this base will hinder the logistics of the Afghanistan operation, we must respect the wishes of the Kyrgyzstani government and leave the base. We have no business operating a military facility in a country whose government doesn't want us there. And leaving the base will send a signal to the region that, contrary to what many have feared, the United States does not intend to set up a permanent military presence in Central Asia.

This may seem like a rather unimportant, technical issue. But even in small matters, we should remember our country's Jeffersonian values, among which are to avoid permanent military entanglements in foreign territory.

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