The government of Kyrgyzstan is complaining that the United States is reducing its military cooperation in the wake of the eviction of the air base that the Americans operated there until last month.
In an interview with Interfax, Deputy Defense Minister Zamir Suerkulov said that "recently, the intensity of contacts between our sides in the sphere of military cooperation is decreasing." Suerkulov added that Kyrgyzstan would like to maintain the level of cooperation "but the Americans do it their own way. For the continuation of contacts the Americans proposed creating a legal base similar to the one which was implemented during the time of the [Manas] Transit Center, but we didn't want that."
According to most recent data on U.S. security assistance to Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan's has decreased, but not any more than in any of the other countries of the region. I asked the State Department to clarify what happened, and they provided this statement:
Our security cooperation has historically included bilateral work on key, mutually-beneficial areas of counterterrorism, counter-narcotics,border security, and building peacekeeping capability. The termination of the 2009 Agreement for Cooperation in July 2014 severely inhibits the ability of the United States to continue its military assistance and cooperation with the defense and security ministries of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The agreement that both the State Department and Suerkulov refer to is here (pdf); signed on the same day in 2009 as the Manas lease agreement, it doesn't discuss specific security cooperation programs but instead the terms under which U.S. military personnel can operate while in Kyrgyzstan. For example, Article 8 gives the U.S. criminal jurisdiction over American soldiers in Kyrgyzstan. It's not clear why the absence of this agreement would necessarily require the U.S. to cut back military aid; the U.S. gives military aid to plenty of other governments (Tajikistan, for example) without such agreements. (The State Department did not respond to requests for clarification on what exactly was being cut.)
U.S. officials have made clear in the past the connection between their military aid and the presence of Manas. In 2009, the U.S. embassy in Bishkek wrote that a proposed military aid package would “significantly improve U.S.–Kyrgyz relations and help to create the conditions necessary for continued use of Manas Transit Center and ground routes in support of the Northern Distribution Network.” Another cable from the same year described a meeting between the embassy’s chief of the Office of Military Cooperation and then-foreign minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev in which the U.S. security assistance package was explicitly tied to Manas. The U.S. officer “cautioned that future funding hinged upon the continuation of the framework agreement. Without the framework agreement, [the officer] estimated Kyrgyzstan would lose $47 million of the $60 million currently allocated for the upcoming fiscal years.”
Of course, no one should feel too sorry for Kyrgyzstan; it was their decision to evict Manas. And they are getting more than $1 billion in military aid from Russia, so they are making out pretty well. Suerkov made that clear in his interview, noting that while U.S. aid is decreasing, cooperation with Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization "is going according to the established plan and in the planned timeframe... in particular, Russia is still helping us with the modernization of our communications and management of air defense systems. For this they are allocating finances and equipment every year."