India has spent
some $20 million to build its first military base in a foreign country.
Tajikistan is hosting several hundred Indian military personnel, half a dozen
Mi-17 helicopters and several trainer aircraft. The ostensible reason for all
this is to train Tajik pilots. But it also gives India an airbase on the border
of Afghanistan, where India has growing commercial interests, and a large
foreign aid presence. This first foray into foreign bases was done with the
assent and cooperation of Russia, which still assists Tajikistan with border