"The current agreement between the US and Kyrgyzstan to host TCM terminates in July 2014. USA is grateful for the support of the Kyrgyz people to the US armed forces and the coalition to counter the threat of terrorism and achieving security and stability in Afghanistan and the region. We respect the decision of the Kyrgyz Government to terminate the TCM hosting after more than 12 years", US Department of Defense said in a statement released by its media office.
The current head of the state, Almazbek Atambaev has repeatedly declared the withdrawal of the US TCM in 2014 - this intention was voiced for the first time after his inaguration, and later in the interview to the Russian radio station "Echo of Moscow". Termination of the Agreement on the Preservation of TCM in the country coincides with the date of withdrawal of major US troops from Afghanistan, where NATO is at war with the Islamic movement of Taliban.
Now the society wonders what the relations between the United States and Kyrgyzstan will be like after July 11th, 2014. The major part of Kyrgyzstan’s external debt and foreign aid derive from the organizations and countries controlled or strongly influenced by the USA: the World Bank, IMF, NATO, EU, Japan.
"The U.S. will manage the TCM’s relocation in close collaboration with Kyrgyzstan, while continuing to support the mission of the International Security Forces (ISF), says the Pentagon’s statement; the USA intend to continue supporting Kyrgyzstan’s democratic and economic development and are looking forward to the further development of bilateral relations in the years ahead".
For more than 12 years the coalition forces were located at the IAM and supported the military operation "Enduring Freedom" and the command of the ISF in Afghanistan. The military and equipment will move to a military base in Romania. As previously reported, a major transit area for all goods traffic from South-East Asia – a civil aviation hub – will be constructed on the territory by Turkish contractors. Economists are concerned about the fact that together with the TCM’s withdrawal the economy of Kyrgyzstan will lose powerful financial injections. According to Deputy Minister of Finance of the KR Almaz Baketaev in 2014 the budget income decrease will be $30 million due to the TCM activity termination. "We plan to compensate the decrease by increasing excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco", Baketaev said.
It is difficult to say whether these plans are real, for the TCM investment in the Kyrgyz economy was not only impressive, but also grew each year. In fact, the withdrawal deprives Kyrgyzstan of about $150 million annually, $60 million of which are rentals. This includes contractual payments, the cost of infrastructure improvements, construction projects, humanitarian assistance, rentals and military men’s personal expenses.
The total economic effect is as follows:
in 2009 - $107,640,039
in 2010 - $131,479,006
in 2011 - $150,566,329
in 2012 - $142,095,257
for 9 months of 2013 - $103,729,052.
According to the official information provided by TCM, besides $60 million paid to the Kyrgyz government, payments to IAM from the beginning of 2013 amounted to $4,486,000; the lease outside the airport was $105 million. The airport infrastructure improvement required more than $375,000; about $59 million was paid to Kyrgyz Air Navigation. Payments to contractor for furniture, sports equipment, spare parts, procurement, construction and repair, reconditioning of roads, utility charges, garbage removal, cleaning, lease of vehicles are also impressive – more than $24,333,000. TCM also provided humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan for $354 million. Military men’s spendings in cafes, museums, shops are an average of more than $1,5 million.
For several years local entrepreneurs enjoy higher profits during the Saturday Night Bazaar, organized by Pete's Place. Since the first bazaar in 2005 the number of its participants has doubled and now is 25-30 entrepreneurs weekly. All entrepreneurs are selected by the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) and should provide for sale only unique items. For many of them it is the only business and source of income. The Kyrgyz entrepreneurs gain especially large income during holiday and new-year sales.
According to the director of Gasprom Neft-Aero Kyrgyzstan Tilektesh Isaev, the joint Kyrgyz-Russian company has been supplying jet fuel to TCM for military transport aircrafts C-17 Globemaster and tankers KC-135 Stratotanker. The benefit of Kyrgyzstan amounted to $208,137,115 last year and $158,769,000 this year.
For information. Transit Center at Manas has two types of USAF aircrafts: CS-135 and C-17.
KC-135 Stratotanker is the aircraft unsurpassed for more than 50 years. Its wingspan reaches 39.88 meters; the overall length is 41.53 m, the height – 12.7 m. The cargo compartment located above the refueling system may simaltaneously hold both passengers and cargo.
KC-135 supports all of the planes flying over the skies of Afghanistan. In 2011, the refueling totaled 160 million liters, which would be enough for 2 million vehicles.Its flight speed is 914 km/h, flying range – 17760 km, the maximum transmitted fuel load – 90719 kg. The center provides almost 30 percent of all air refueling over Afghanistan monthly.
The Kyrgyz people will also lose their jobs. According to the American side, the daily staff of TCM is 4,000, including 1,400 military staff, 300 contractors and 700 Kyrgyz citizens involved in a wide range of professions. They are service workers, translators, advisors on cultural issues.
In addition, approximately 2,000 are the transit staff, whose number varies depending on the need to perform combat missions. All the soldiers arrive by ordinary planes, rest and undergo trainings for 2 to 3 days, and then are sent by warcrafts to Afghanistan. They are not only American soldiers, but also soldiers from 25 other states. The representatives of 10 partner organizations supporting the ISF in Afghanistan also work at TCM.
According to the Press-attache of the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan Suzanne Wood, TCM military men will not be transferred to the staff of the US Embassy after the air base withdrawal, and only specialists will be employed.Transit Center at “Manas” carries out about 25,000 transportations of troops to and from Afghanistan monthly.