"In testimony in July 2010, Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake stated that 'our primary foreign policy interest [in Kyrgyzstan] is to facilitate its continued development as a stable democratic state that respects the rights of all its citizens. Kyrgyzstan is also a significant contributor to security in Afghanistan by hosting the Manas Transit Center through which nearly all U.S. troops enter and leave the theater.... [T]hat Center can only be maintained if Kyrgyzstan itself is a stable and reliable partner.... The Center is an important part of our partnership, but our focus has been and remains developing our overall political, economic and security relationship.' […] The Kyrgyz government declared its support for the United States almost immediately after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and approved a U.S. request to use Kyrgyz airspace for counter-terrorist operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. military repaired and upgraded the air field at the Manas international airport near Bishkek, and it became operational in December 2001. According to a fact sheet prepared in early 2009 by the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force, the Manas airbase serves as the 'premier air mobility hub' for operations in Afghanistan. Missions include support for personnel and cargo transiting in and out of the theater, aerial refueling, airlift and airdrop, and medical evacuation. In March 2010, about 50,000 troops passed through Manas, en route to or out of Afghanistan, according to the Air Force, a substantial increase over the average number of troops transiting per month in 2009.
CRS Report for Congress, 97-690