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The strange ceremonies of military diplomacy

The military hardware, the foreign soldiers, the flags, the natives in their traditional garb - strange ceremonies like this one have been going on across the globe for centuries.

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the world to host both a US and a Russian airbase, a situation that has led to a lot of diplomatic wrangling over recent years. In 2009, the Kyrgyz government ordered that the US base be closed before reversing its decision thanks to a deal that raised the annual rent to $60 million. The base is a crucial part of the supply chain supporting American troops in Afghanistan.