The United States may be allowed to continue utilizing the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, even after the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete in 2014, reported Bloomberg. “If the American government officially requests prolongation of our bilateral agreement, we will certainly consider it in due course,” Talaibek Kydyrov, Kyrgyzstan’s UN ambassador, told the news wire service. “Transit facilities and infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan could play an even more effective role after 2014 for the security and stability in the region.” Kyrgyz government officials previously hinted that the United States would have to leave Manas after 2014. The base serves as a major hub for moving troops and equipment into Afghanistan. The US military currently operates from there under the terms of a May 2009 agreement that remains in force “unless terminated by either party on 180 days written notice,” according to the website of the US embassy in Bishkek. The United States pays $60 million annually for Manas’ use.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.