Kyrgyzstan, a new American ally since the disintegration of the USSR, has just seen its people revolting against its dictatorial president.
Though the now-runaway (former) president Askar Akayev has been notorious for human rights violation, Washington has soft-pedalled its criticism of him. On the rare occasions when the US did so sternly, it did not demand tangible progress like the release of Kyrgyzstan’s incarcerated opposition members or anyone that had voiced objections to Akayev’s totalitarian rule.
The USA, like China, Russia and undoubtedly India, is very keen to maintain a foothold in the strategically located nation, hence has been perfunctory in its criticism of Askar Akayev.
Krygyzstan is smack right in the middle of the new energy-rich region of the ‘-stan’ nations, just next to the world's rising star of energy resources, Kazahkstan. Krygyzstan's strategic location allows military dominance of the neighbouring states, swift military penetration of both the Chinese and Russian heartlands, and for a convenient monitoring post for any hostile Islamist activities there. The saliva-inducing cream on top of the military cake has been the finding that the region has more oil and gas resources than the Gulf nations. The region is also rich in uranium.
The USA maintains a military base with 1000 troops there.
What direction will the nation now assume remains to be seen, but the people has obviously had a taste of people’s power and would be unlikely to countenance another dictatorial regime.
Map of Kyrgyzstan here.