Posts Tagged ‘AFRICOM’

May 9th, 2013

While combat troops have been withdrawn from Iraq, and the Afghan war now involves less US troops all the time, the US is still involved in either fighting or helping some struggle thought to be useful in the “war on terror” in numerous countries.

Altogether the US is involved in 74 different countries. The US Central Command is active in 20 countries in the Middle East busy ramping-up military training, counterterrorism programs and providing logistical support for local military allies.

The US military is the world’s largest landlord. Not only does it have long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the UK but also has a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan. Some bases are large. The Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward base of the Central Command can accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft.

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) supports “military-to-military” relationships with 54 different African nations. The “war on terror” is used as a justification to project US power and develop relationships with numerous national military forces throughout the globe.

Going beyond these relationships in many cases, US Special Forces operate in numerous countries. Jeremy Scahill writes in “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield”: “By mid-2010, the Obama administration had increased the presence of Special Operations forces from sixty countries to seventy-five countries. SOCOM had about 4,000 people deployed around the world in countries besides Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Joint Special Operations Command, Special Forces, under Obama, have operated in Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Yemen, Pakistan and the Philippines. Teams have also been at times operating in Turkey, Belgium, France and Spain. They also support US Drug Enforcement operations in Columbia and Mexico.

The Obama administration has embraced targeted assassinations and expanded drone attacks far beyond those of the Bush era. Most expanded operations involve small numbers of troops that may barely register in the media or the public mind. For example, in February, 100 US military personnel were deployed to Niger, to assist in intelligence collection to aid the French in their operations in neighboring Mali.Troops have also been sent to Jordan in small numbers but could be significantly expanded. A number of troops have also been sent to South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic in connection with attempts to apprehend Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Obama officials might argue that all of these operations are just a single conflict, the war on terror–although officially the term “war on terror” is no longer used. The president has the authority to order the operations through the Authorized Use for Military Force (AUMF) law passed shortly after the 9/11 attacks. In other situations the actions could be defended by classifying them as not combat roles at all since the US military operates as advisers who help the military operations of allied forces.

However, the reality is that the US is involved militarily throughout the globe directly in conflicts or in helping other forces that are often used as proxies to advance US interests. These new wars have much smaller footprints than earlier wars. While advancing the interests of the US and the military-industrial-complex, there is minimal political fallout due to the lack of casualties and of media attention to what is happening.

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January 22nd, 2013

In the video below, Mokhtar Belmokhtar — said to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attack by the Islamist al-Mulathameen (Masked) Brigade on the In Amenas Gas complex in Algeria — takes credit for the operation.

Belmokhtar was recruited and trained by the CIA in Afghanistan. He was an “Afghan Arab” recruit from North Africa and fought with the CIA and Pakistan ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) Mujahideen that would later splinter into al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Following the deadly Afghan civil war that claimed nearly a half million lives, Belmokhtar returned to Algeria in 1993 and joined the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

The GSPC was purportedly founded by Hassan Hattab, a former Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) commander. Mohammed Samraoui, the Algerian army’s deputy chief counterintelligence specialist, claims GSPC was established by the Algerian army in an attempt to weaken and destroy the moderate Islamic Salvation Front, an Islamist political party poised to take power in Algeria’s elections. GSPC members were recruited by Algerian intelligence upon returning from the jihad in Afghanistan.

In 2007, the GSPC changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and aligned itself with the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). In November 2007, al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio announcing that the LIFG had joined al-Qaeda.

“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb from the outset in 2007 had established a close relationship to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose leaders had also been trained and recruited in Afghanistan by the CIA,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “The LIFG is supported covertly by the CIA and Britain’s MI6.”

According to an MI6 document, British intelligence knew of a LIFG plot to assassinate Gaddafi in 1995 involving “Libya veterans who served in Afghanistan.” The report was given credibility by the fact British authorities allowed LIFG members living in the U.K. to engage in activities supporting the organization despite its official declaration as a terrorist group.

In addition to support from U.S. and British intelligence, AQIM and other Salafist groups in Africa received support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The intelligence organization DGSE to the French Defense Ministry mentioned in a report Qatar’s support for terrorism in northern Mali.

Algeria’s prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, said the In Amenas Gas plant attack in the Sahara “included two Canadians and a team of explosives experts who had memorized the layout of the sprawling complex and were ready to blow the place sky-high,” the CBC reported.

The highly sensationalized attack in Algeria is now being exploited by the establishment media as a propaganda tool in the global war on terror and to once again highlight the scourge of al-Qaeda and associated Salafist groups created by the CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, MI6 and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The globalists fully intend to expand their operations into resource rich Africa. AFRICOM, the United States African Command, and the French – with the support of Cameron and the British – are moving into Africa in a big way with the Damocles sword of al-Qaeda and its panoply of associated Salafist groups providing the necessary pretext.