The ongoing tiff over the rent at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas Air Base between US officials and Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev took a turn in America’s favor, after recent meetings. According to the London Financial Times, Bakiyev has agreed to reduce his demand. Previously threatening to increase the yearly payments from $2.7 million to $200 million, a government source tells the newspaper that Kyrgyz officials have given the impression that they would be willing to accept as little as $15 million if the rent was teamed with an aid and investment package. Manas serves as a key way station for coalition operations in Afghanistan. More negotiations seem to be coming.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.