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A Russian expert on Afghanistan, interviewed by a Kazakh newspaper, says the situation in Afghanistan is "absolutely" hopeless and that the Americans are incapable of finding ways out of the present situation. He suggests that using force is no good in such a situation and that there is a need for comprehensive measures to improve the situation. Commenting on Kyrgyzstan's decision to close the US air base in the country, he says the closure will not affect antiterrorist operations in Afghanistan. Moreover, he says that Kyrgyzstan's intention is not final and that the USA has been trying to make Kyrgyzstan change the decision by making ample promises. He also suggests that the USA is now actively looking for alternatives, including the possibility of setting up its base in southern Kazakhstan. The following is the text of Tamara Abakova's article entitled "Obama wants to become Genghis Khan" and published by the Kazakh newspaper website Respublika on 13 February; subheadings as published:
The new US president Barack Obama will not be able to resolve the Afghan problem by forcible methods alone. First they should gain the hearts, minds and stomachs of the Afghans and only then they should think about [how to conquer] towns and provinces, says the head of the Afghan desk of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies, Viktor Korgun, in an interview with Respublika.
Barack Obama's coming to power is provoking the Taleban for new aggressive actions because they were "dreaming" about John McCain, who wanted to get down to brass tacks with the Iraq problem, leaving Afghanistan alone on the sidelines of the US foreign policy. But the combat spirit of the young US president will hardly help the coalition to conquer Afghanistan, in which, as history shows, uncalled-for visitors disappear …