Do you really think the military component of the anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan is coming to a close thanks to the North Alliance’s outright victory? Far from it. The USA is building its military presence in the region. Today, the head of the Pentagon suggested to deploy in Uzbekistan military aircrafts meant to carry out air raids into Afghanistan. What for? Apparently, to efficiently control the results of the alliance’s victory. There can be no other explanation to that. The Taliban have been crushed throughout the country. The remaining pockets of resistance are being heavily and successfully bombed by the US aviation. Nevertheless, military aircrafts are being stationed at airdromes in Tajikistan. So, it is Uzbekistan’s turn. Surely, it will be more difficult to subsequently send the Americans on their way out of the Central Asian countries than to let them in now. US Defence Minister Donald Rumsfeld met today with journalists at the Fort Bragg special forces’ base and proposed to station US military aircrafts in Uzbekistan. The following arguments were adduced here. In operations against the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda militants it would be especially useful to apply S-130s which have a great fire potential and high precision.” The S-130 aircrafts are dubbed “flying gunboats” in the USA. They are equipped with a 40mm Bofors gun, a 25mm rapid-firing Gatling gun, and a 105mm howitzer. This type of aircraft is used for to support special force operations and are capable to release up to 2,500 missiles per minute. C-130 aircrafts were actively use in the Vietnam war. They have also been used several times in the ongoing Afghan campaign. It remains unclear what the flying gunboats’ future role is going to be. And how should one interpret Mr. Rumsfeld’s latest statement?
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/22/34088.html