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The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan; Black Sites in the Empire of Bases

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-10-10 05:13 PM
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The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan; Black Sites in the Empire of Bases


The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan

Black Sites in the Empire of Bases

By Nick Turse

February 10, 2010 "TomDispatch" -- In the nineteenth century, it was a fort used by British forces. In the twentieth century, Soviet troops moved into the crumbling facilities. In December 2009, at this site in the Shinwar district of Afghanistans Nangarhar Province, U.S. troops joined members of the Afghan National Army in preparing the way for the next round of foreign occupation. On its grounds, a new military base is expected to rise, one of hundreds of camps and outposts scattered across the country.

Nearly a decade after the Bush administration launched its invasion of Afghanistan, TomDispatch offers the first actual count of American, NATO, and other coalition bases there, as well as facilities used by the Afghan security forces. Such bases range from relatively small sites like Shinwar to mega-bases that resemble small American towns. Today, according to official sources, approximately 700 bases of every size dot the Afghan countryside, and more, like the one in Shinwar, are under construction or soon will be as part of a base-building boom that began last year.

Existing in the shadows, rarely reported on and little talked about, this base-building program is nonetheless staggering in size and scope, and heavily dependent on supplies imported from abroad, which means that it is also extraordinarily expensive. It has added significantly to the already long secret list of Pentagon property overseas and raises questions about just how long, after the planned beginning of a drawdown of American forces in 2011, the U.S. will still be garrisoning Afghanistan.

<snip>

The Pentagons most recent inventory of bases lists a total of 716 overseas sites. These include facilities owned and leased all across the Middle East as well as a significant presence in Europe and Asia, especially Japan and South Korea. Perhaps even more notable than the Pentagons impressive public foreign property portfolio are the many sites left off the official inventory. While bases in the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates are all listed, one conspicuously absent site is Al-Udeid Air Base, a billion-dollar facility in nearby Qatar, where the U.S. Air Force secretly oversees its on-going unmanned drone wars.

The count also does not include any sites in Iraq where, as of August 2009, there were still nearly 300 American bases and outposts. Similarly, U.S. bases in Afghanistan -- a significant percentage of the 400 foreign sites scattered across the country -- are noticeably absent from the Pentagon inventory.

Counting the remaining bases in Iraq -- as many as 50 are slated to be operating after President Barack Obamas August 31, 2010, deadline to remove all U.S. combat troops from the country -- and those in Afghanistan, as well as black sites like Al-Udeid, the total number of U.S. bases overseas now must significantly exceed 1,000. Just exactly how many U.S. military bases (and allied facilities used by U.S. forces) are scattered across the globe may never be publicly known. What we do know -- from the experience of bases in Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea -- is that, once built, they have a tendency toward permanency that a cessation of hostilities, or even outright peace, has a way of not altering.

<more>

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24640.h...
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classysassy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-10-10 06:21 PM
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1.  Sheer madness
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-10-10 06:35 PM
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2. OMG!
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-10-10 06:47 PM
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3. Hope folks will spend time to read.....
:kick:
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