The story of yesterday's parliamentary vote in Kyrgyzstan to annul the lease of the U.S. air base there included an intriguing subplot: the presence of ex-U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in Bishkek. Officially, he was there on the business of the Rumsfeld Foundation, a group that offers short-term fellowships to young scholars from Central Asia and the Caucasus to study in Washington, D.C. And the timing of the visit, at the same time as the parliamentary vote, was just a coincidence.
But as anyone following Central Asian politics knows, there is no such thing as coincidence. And the Kyrgyzstan and Russian press has been rife with speculation about what Rumsfeld's real agenda was in Bishkek. From FerganaNews:
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