Blackwater aviation and Central Asia
EurasiaNet's Deirdre Tynan uncovers an intriguing tidbit about some of the aviation activities at Manas Transit Center:
A company with ties to Blackwater, the controversial private security firm now known as Xe, has been ferrying US government-directed cargos over the past five-plus years across Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, the company may be a candidate to continue its services for years to come, if a Sources Sought Announcement posted by the US Defense Department becomes a live contract.
Given what we know about contractors in Afghanistan, none of this should be surprising. But the most intriguing part to me: Apparently there remains at least some slim hope or expectation among the military and contractors that the U.S. will again get use of Karshi-Khanabad:
A separate solicitation issued on February 25, 2010, to provide fixed-wing transportation services for US Central Command and the National Geospatial Agency (NGA), to which Presidential Airways is listed as an interested vendor, also includes Karshi-Khanabad as one of 16 airfields that could be potentially used within the scope of the contract.
Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, and author of The Bug Pit.
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