Citing a defense official and a congressional official,  Politico reported on October 13 that Pentagon officials are participating in a delegation this month to Uzbekistan to discuss ongoing security cooperation efforts.

Top of the agenda is reportedly the possibility of housing "over the horizon" counterterrorism forces, an arrangement that would allow the U.S. military to more easily surveil and strike targets in Afghanistan.

This comes as Uzbekistan has welcomed many U.S. officials in recent days.

Last week, four House Republicans reportedly traveled to Uzbekistan to meet with top officials, including chatting for over two hours with President Shavka Mirziyoyev,

On Tuesday October 12, a group led by House Foreign Affairs Chair Gregory Weeks returned from their own, separate trip to Uzbekistan, Politico says.  The delegation reportedly met with Uzbek government leaders to convey their appreciation for the support Uzbekistan provided to the U.S.-led evacuation efforts from Afghanistan and discuss regional security challenges.

U.S. officials say Uzbekistan moved up on the priority list after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.  The two countries neighbor each other and Tashkent was open to discussions about bringing in refugees and hosting American troops, though it so far has disappointed on both fronts.  Still, some lawmakers see Uzbekistan as a country uniquely positioned to help the U.S. secure regional interests down the line.

Politico says the Biden administration has been in discussions with Uzbekistan and other countries that border the Taliban-controlled nation for months now, with little to show for it.