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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:23 PM

U.S. Opens Drone Base in Niger, Building Africa Presence - NYT

U.S. Opens Drone Base in Niger, Building Africa Presence
By ERIC SCHMITT and SCOTT SAYARE - NYT
Published: February 22, 2013

<snip>

WASHINGTON — Opening a new front in the drone wars against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, President Obama announced on Friday that about 100 American troops had been sent to Niger in West Africa to help set up a new base from which unarmed Predator aircraft would conduct surveillance in the region.

The new drone base, located for now in the capital, Niamey, 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 Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali, where insurgents had taken over half the country until repelled by a French-led force.

In a letter to Congress, Mr. Obama said about 40 United States military service members arrived in Niger on Wednesday, bringing the total number of those deployed in the country to about 100 people. A military official said the troops were largely Air Force logistics specialists, intelligence analysts and security officers.

Mr. Obama said the troops, who are armed for self-protection, would support the French-led operation that last month drove the Qaeda and affiliated fighters out of a desert refuge the size of Texas in neighboring Mali.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, signed a status-of-forces agreement last month with the United States that has cleared the way for greater American military involvement in the country and provides legal protection to American troops there.

<snip>

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/world/africa/in-niger-us-troops-set-up-drone-base.html?google_editors_picks=true&_r=0

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Reply U.S. Opens Drone Base in Niger, Building Africa Presence - NYT (Original post)
WillyT Feb 2013 OP
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #1
lib2DaBone Feb 2013 #2
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #5
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #3
WillyT Feb 2013 #4
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #6
WillyT Feb 2013 #7
stevenleser Feb 2013 #13
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #8
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #10
LittleBlue Feb 2013 #9
WillyT Feb 2013 #11
xchrom Feb 2013 #12

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:24 PM

1. ...

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:26 PM

2. Yes.. it's important to build our military ....

 

As we approach sequestration.....

It's OK to build U.S. military bases in 135 countries.

We'll just have to wait a little longer to fix anything at home.

The true way to riches is to get elected to Congress or Senate...

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Response to lib2DaBone (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:43 PM

5. Smile and repeat after us: "This is not 'empire building'".

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:36 PM

3. Hmmm, let's see... how could this possibly benefit the US??

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:38 PM

4. Thank You For That !!!




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Response to WillyT (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:48 PM

6. As soon as I saw your post, bells and whistles went off.

I have seen Niger bubbling up thru the surface (Media) more and more frequently since the Mali disturbance started.

By the way, you can bet your bottom dollar the the US is solidly behind the Mali debacle. When that thing cranked up, I told GF that the target was really Niger.

Most Americans are totally ignorant of Niger and will not give this action a 2nd thought. This will stay totally under the radar, since there are - so far - only 100 troops involved. That and a brazillion drones. What do you want to bet that many of those drones are capable of geological surveying and thermal imaging?

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:55 PM

7. Yep... And Hell... It Was Yellow Cake From Niger, That Got Us Into The Current Iraq War After All..

Apparently... Niger is critical... to the war machine.




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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:34 PM

13. Your link indicates the oil rights are already all leased out to the US, Canada and China

If you are trying to assert the drone policy is for the US to grab oil there, that's apparently not necessary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_and_mining_industry_of_Niger#Petroleum

Niger historically has not produced petroleum and has depended upon imports to meet its domestic requirements. Oil reserves have been known to exist in the east of the nation for some decades, but have never been commercially exploited. Government concessions are divided in two blocks which run from along the Termit-Ténéré Rift Basin just to the west of the Kaouar escarpment, south to the western side of lake Chad. The northern section, titled the "Ténéré Block" covers 71,155 km2 (17.3 million acres) of the northern end of this basin. The southern end of the depression, near the town of N'guigmi, is parceled out as the "Agadem Block".

In 1992, the Djado permit (at the northern tip of Termit-Ténéré Rift Basin) was awarded to Hunt Oil Company, and in 2003 the Tenere permit was awarded to a Chinese Canada joint venture. An ExxonMobil-Petronas joint venture was sold sole rights to the "Agadem block" at the south of the basin in the Diffa Region north of Lake Chad, but never went beyond exploration.

The "Ténéré Block" is leased in 2003 by a consortium of TG World Energy Corp. of Canada (20%) and CNPC International Ténéré (CNPCIT), a unit of the China National Petroleum Corporation (80%). In October 2006, TG World Energy Corp. of Canada spudded the Saha-1 well, which was the first well in a three-well drilling program that the company planned to carry out through 2007. The well flowed uneconomic quantities of petroleum and was abandoned as noncommercial. the company’s next target, the Fachi West-1 exploration well, was drilled in 2007. TG World’s future plans included the drilling of a third exploration well at a location that was to be determined after the results of Fachi West-1 were known, and the acquisition of an additional 700 km of two-dimensional (2-d) seismic data for regional and prospect-specific coverage in the Ténéré Block. A further "Bilma Block" (to the east of Ténéré Block) was leased by CNPC in 2003.

While test drilling continues in the Fachi / Tenere area, directly south towards Lake Chad, the so-called "Agadem Block" was leased to the China National Petroleum Corporation in 2003, as the An ExxonMobil-Petronas joint venture in Agadem was not pursued by the companies. Here the CNPC made six oil discoveries and one gas discovery amounting to approximately 400 million barrels of oil equivalent. The Chinese government agency has planned to drill oil reserves here, and in June 2008 signed a deal with the Nigerien government to build a 1 million-metric-ton a year refinery at Ganaram near Zinder. The company has also pledged to build a 2,000-kilometer (1,200 mi) pipeline to transport oil out of the country, and connect with its projects in neighboring Chad. In October 2008, the government and the CNPC broke ground on the Ganaram refinery, projecting a completion date of 2012. It was announced that the refinery and pipeline deal brought a $5 billion payment to the Nigerien government, and when fully operational, could produce 20,000 barrels of refined petroleum a day. In 2008, Niger consumed around 7,000 barrels a day domestically.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:55 PM

8. Ohai, this is also about Mali and Algeria (Algeria has oil, Mali uranium and more.)

 

Map of the area: Niger and Mali are directly beneath Algeria.





Uranium reserves in Mali 'highly encouraging': Australian company

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Uranium_reserves_in_Mali_highly_encouraging_Australian_company_999.html



And of course, GLOBALISATION is one of the main drivers of Plutonomy:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022410977



BBC News US ‏@BBCNewsUS

President #Obama says the US has deployed 100 troops to Niger to assist French forces in neighbouring #Mali http://bbc.in/YI9FIY
Retweeted by Jeremy Entwistle



Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani

"Humanitarian intervention" >> @iRevolt: 250k have fled Mali due to France military intervention; food scarcity on rise http://bit.ly/11M2aXD
Retweeted by Jeremy Entwistle


Jeremy Entwistle ‏@jwentwistle

France ready to start Mali withdrawal despite attack. http://reut.rs/ZnxI0P (via @reuters) #mali #drones #france

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:08 PM

10. Niger has all of that

and more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_and_mining_industry_of_Niger

The difference is that Niger has no way to defend its resources.

You can bet your ass that the US is stirring the pot in Mali (and the rest of N Africa, as well).

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:57 PM

9. A president George W Bush would be proud of

He's building bases in places old monkeyboy would have never thought possible.

Well done, Mr. President.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:26 PM

11. Shhh...

We're supposed to be un-questioningly supportive.

You didn't get the memo ???






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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:31 PM

12. I'm sure the poor can be squeezed for a little more

To pay for this.

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