THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
January 28, 2013
The New York Times

U.S. Weighs Base for Spy Drones in North Africa

by Eric Schmitt

WASHINGTON -- The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.

The move is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in the country of Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali, . . .

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General Smedley Darlington Butler, "'War Is A Racket'," 1933

"A Clash Between Justice and Greed," The Wisdom Fund, October 26, 2004

"U.S. Investor Buys Sudan Land, Expects Breakup of Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia," The Wisdom Fund, January 9, 2009

"The New Scramble For Africa: The Crown Jewels," The Wisdom Fund, October 20, 2011

"Mali: Another Imperialist "Success" Story?," The Wisdom Fund, March 25, 2012

"Into Africa: US Sends Troops, China Sends Construction Teams," The Wisdom Fund, December 24, 2012

Robert Fisk, "Algeria: The Slaughter of the Good and Bad Utterly Predictable," Independent, January 20, 2013

[A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. . . .

The invasion has almost nothing to do with "Islamism", and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence--John Pilger, "The real invasion of Africa is not news and a licence to lie is Hollywood's gift," johnpilger.com, January 31, 2013]

Dan Glazebrook, "The African Union, Algeria and Mali: The West's War Against African Development Continues," counterpunch.org, February 15, 2013

[These include a multi-pronged military and CIA campaign against militants in Somalia, consisting of intelligence operations, a secret prison, helicopter attacks, drone strikes, and U.S. commando raids; a special ops expeditionary force (bolstered by State Department experts) dispatched to help capture or kill Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony and his top commanders in the jungles of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; a massive influx of funding for counterterrorism operations across East Africa; and, in just the last four years, hundreds of millions of dollars spent arming and training West African troops to serve as American proxies on the continent. From 2010-2012, AFRICOM itself burned through $836 million as it expanded its reach across the region, primarily via programs to mentor, advise, and tutor African militaries.--Nick Turse, "The Terror Diaspora: The US Military and the Unraveling of Africa," truth-out.org, June 18, 2013]

Peter Apps, "With multiple missions, U.S. military steps up Africa focus," reuters.com, June 27, 2013

Patrick Bond, "Africa Crashing - Washington Dictates to Pretoria How to Play the Game," counterpunch.org, June 27, 2013

"With multiple missions, U.S. military steps up Africa focus," reuters.com, June 27, 2013

[An investigation by TomDispatch has found recent U.S. military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations.--Nick Turse, "The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent," tomdispatch.com, September 5, 2013]

[Countries are "pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world", wrote Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, in 1898. Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game.--John Pilger, "More Than Jihadism or Iran, China's Role in Africa is Obama's Obsession," theguardian.com, October 9, 2013]

Seumas Milne, "This war on 'Islamism' only fuels hatred and violence," theguardian.com, April 23, 2014

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