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I congratulate Russia, Kazakhstan, and Oman, and their consortium partners, for the commissioning of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). U.S. firms, notably ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, have played leading roles in this project. These facilities represent the culmination of years of effort. They are examples to the world that the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan are cooperating to build prosperity and stability in this part of the world.
The CPC highlights the important progress by countries in the Caspian region in building a transparent and stable environment for international trade and investment. The CPC project also advances my Administrations National Energy Policy by developing a network of multiple Caspian pipelines that also includes the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, and Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipelines and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. These projects will help diversify U.S. energy supply and enhance our energy security, while supporting global economic growth.
The Great New Game. The 'war on terror' is being used as an excuse to further US energy interests in the Caspian
Nearly two years ago, I travelled to Kyrgyzstan, the mountainous ex-Soviet republic in Central Asia, to witness a historical event: the deployment of the first American combat troops on former Soviet soil.
As part of the Afghan campaign, the US air force set up a base near the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Brawny pioneers in desert camouflages were erecting hundreds of tents for nearly 3,000 soldiers. I asked their commander, a wiry brigadier general, if and when the troops would leave Kyrgyzstan (and its neighbour Uzbekistan, where Washington set up a second airbase). "There is no time limit," he replied. "We will pull out only when all al-Qaeda cells have been eradicated."
Today, the Americans are still there and many of the tents have been replaced by concrete buildings. Bush has used his massive military build-up in Central Asia to seal the cold war victory against Russia, to contain Chinese influence and to tighten the noose around Iran. Most importantly, however, Washington - supported by the Blair government - is exploiting the "war on terror" to further American oil interests in the Caspian region. But this geopolitical gamble involving thuggish dictators and corrupt Saudi oil sheiks is only likely to produce more terrorists.