The Bug Pit
So why is Iran bringing Kyrgyzstan, and Manas Air Base, into its allegations that the U.S. was supporting a Sunni extremist anti-Tehran group? Richard Weitz, sometime EurasiaNet contributor, writing in World Politics Review argues that it is to thwart U.S. influence in Central Asia:
Richard Holbrooke, the U.S.'s envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, had a press conference today in which he briefly discussed his recent trip through the ex-Soviet 'stans and Georgia. He's trying to drum up support from those countries for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, and although Holbrooke's portfolio is primarily diplomatic and civilian, it seems most of the support he discussed in the former USSR was military:
For those inclined to believe the worst about Russia's military intentions, there have been two recent developments that have aroused pundit ire: the possible sale of advanced French Mistral-class ships to Russia, along with the statement of Russia's top naval official that "a ship like this would have allowed the Black Sea fleet to accomplish its mission [invading Georgia] in 40 minutes and not 26 hours," and the new Russian military doctrine and its explicit designation of NATO as a threat.
There are a lot of good details on the developing military situation in Abkhazia in the new International Crisis Group report, "Abkhazia: Deepening Dependence." Perhaps most notable is the steep decline in Georgian defense spending: