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Yemen, Somalian drone wars drive US to open African bases

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posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 10:31 AM
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Yemen, Somalian drone wars drive US to open African bases


defensesystems.com

As the United States expands its military presence in and around Africa, opening two new bases and reactivating another, it has become obvious that the drone wars against terrorists in Yemen and Somalia are just heating up....

With six known drone attacks against Yemen radicals since 2010 and two more against Somalian radicals, not including under-the-radar and non-drone attacks, it is no secret that the U.S. military is not backing down from the fight.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
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www.washingtonpost.c om




posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 10:31 AM
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When Americans talk about the wars we are in; these don't count.... for some reason.

With the advent of terrorists finding new locations and groups to promote for recruiting and training purposes; and the increased Chinese efforts to become economic partners with African nations... this is a potentially treacherous scenario.

The so-called "war on terror" is as active in Yemen and Somalia as it is in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq....

The CIA has become a paramilitary force in this "other war" and their focus is shifting inexorably from intelligence gathering to assassination and combat. And it was the technological development of unmanned aerial vehicles that made it possible:



While the military began noting drones benefits in real-time battlefield monitoring, advanced reconnaissance, and some other uses... the CIA drove the technology for use as a clandestine weapon system, which they have now deployed to the once secret base in the Seychelles Island for use in East Africa.






Washington is quietly setting up at least two new East African drone bases, plus one on the Arabian Peninsula, to support the expanding U.S. shadow war against Islamic militants in Somalia and Yemen. An apparently new facility has been built in Ethiopia. In the island nation of Seychelles, a defunct airfield is being reactivated. A third base is being set up in or near Yemen.

The news, first reported by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, should come as no surprise to close observers of America’s shadow war on the borders of the Indian Ocean. But the base expansion could be met with outrage by the people most directly affected, especially Africans themselves. For years, Washington has insisted that it wouldn’t build new bases in Africa.


It appears to me that we are setting ourselves up for yet another future "blow-back" event a decade or two from now.

America made assertions that we were not projecting military force in the African continent, yet here we are.... apparently the CIA doesn't "count" as military in such matters... but shouldn't they? They are using military equipment and weapon systems, supported by military and paramilitary "consultants" (sort of like the Blackwater of old.. now Xe) to kill and destroy.... sounds military by any reasonable definition to me.


The U.S. military also has flown drones over Somalia and Yemen from bases in Djibouti, a tiny African nation at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In addition, the CIA is building a secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula so it can deploy armed drones over Yemen.


And once again, as if begging to be offensive and assuring the offense after publicly trying to convince the inhabitants of the Seychelles these were not "weapon systems"... they lied.


The cables, obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, reveal that U.S. officials asked leaders in the Seychelles to keep the counterterrorism missions secret. The Reapers are described by the military as “hunter-killer” drones because they can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs.

To allay concerns among islanders, U.S. officials said they had no plans to arm the Reapers when the mission was announced two years ago. The cables show, however, that U.S. officials were thinking about weaponizing the drones.


Now if you are among those who prefer the glorious application of covert violence bear this in mind...


About 20 percent of CIA analysts are now “targeters” scanning data for individuals to recruit, arrest or place in the cross­hairs of a drone. The skill is in such demand that the CIA made targeting a designated career track five years ago, meaning analysts can collect raises and promotions without having to leave the targeting field.

Critics, including some in the U.S. intelligence community, contend that the CIA’s embrace of “kinetic” operations, as they are known, has diverted the agency from its traditional espionage mission and undermined its ability to make sense of global developments such as the Arab Spring.


Redirecting the CIA to become 'militarily active' made them blind to the dawn of the "Arab Spring"... which sounds to me strikingly similar to the claims that "No one in the agency ever imagined the idea of flying a plane into a building." A comment which no journalist seemed inclined to challenge by asking "Well, what WERE you looking at?"


Human rights groups go further, saying the CIA now functions as a military force beyond the accountability that the United States has historically demanded of its armed services. The CIA doesn’t officially acknowledge the drone program, let alone provide public explanation about who shoots and who dies, and by what rules.


Why is it that "oversight" is such a dirty word in the world of those political appointees who decide such things?



defensesystems.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 23-9-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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An aside, before I get to the topic at hand;

These drone hunter-killers and the F-35 jets being delivered by Lockheed are part of the necessary development of American air power. American strategic power has depended on air superiority since the War. Victory Through Air Power!

The space race was an effort to extend Air Power into Space Power. This is evident by the name of the space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Space Shuttles designed by the USA and USSR were both intended to be nuclear-armed space planes, capable of delivering their payloads anywhere on the Earth. Unlike the earlier rocket programs, they could remain in orbit indefinitely, much like the USA's permanently-airborne nuclear bomber wings. The F-35 is blatantly marketed as a means of projecting Aerospace Power. If the USA and its collaborators on the F-35 project do not modernise, then they will lose the strategic edge that keeps the West secure and dominant in the world.

The nations that will purchase F-35 jets are: USA, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Israel, and Singapore. This will be the most numerous and advanced fighter jet in the world and will give the West an enduring edge in all aspects of war.

That said, the massive expenditures on drone and jet fighters is all part of the evolution of our civilization. They are expensive now, but their power and their success in pacifying foreign nations will help to extend our resource base. The manufacturing costs will drop and our national incomes will rise, enabling our scientists to further increase our technological efficiency. If we cannot remain top dog in the resource wars of the 21st Century then our civilization will stagnate and collapse; the vast momentum of Western Civilization will be squandered and future humanity will suffer as a whole.

Of course, that is just one way of looking at it, and not necessarily the one that I think is best. Personally I think that we are stuck in these global power games for the time being and I would rather be on the winning side than not.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by SmedleyBurlap
 


I can't really object to your comments at all. If we are to be prepared to defend ourselves, we need to develop technology to that end.

It just seemed a large departure from the doctrine of intelligence gathering to a deployed weapon platform.... and I would much prefer the military used weapons systems, not civilian agencies controlled by political appointees. Such an opening begs for someone to exploit it for their own political expedience...

Thanks for the input!

edit on 23-9-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)


edit on 23-9-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)
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