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Kazakhstan turns into graveyard for US diplomacy

In a sensational statement in October 2018, Major General Igor Kirillov, the commander of Russia's Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops went to the extent of disclosing a discernible pattern of the network of Pentagon labs being located near the borders of Russia and China.

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The unassumingly-named Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty figuring in the Tass report was originally planned in 2013 with the US investing $102 million in a biosecurity lab to study some of the most deadly pathogens that could potentially be used in bioterrorism attacks.

Rather than locating the new facility in some obsecure tract of land in Nevada, the Pentagon deliberately chose a site near Almaty to securely store and study the highest-risk diseases such as plague, anthrax and cholera.

The rationale was that the lab would provide gainful employment to talented Kazakh researchers and get them off the streets, so to speak -- that is, discourage them from selling their scientific expertise and services to terrorist groups who may have use for biological weapons!

But the CRL, now operational, is anchored on institutional cooperation between Kazakh government and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the the Pentagon, which is tasked with protecting "US National Security interests in a rapidly evolving, globalised threat environment to enable a greater understanding of our adversaries and provide solutions to WMD threats in an era of Great Power Competition."

By the way, Germany also has a similar arrangement under the rubric German-Kazakh Network for Biosafety and Biosecurity, which is co-managed by the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (a military research facility of the German Armed Forces for Medical Biological Defence.)

by Oui on Sun Jan 9th, 2022 at 07:06:25 PM EST

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