Since 2007 the U.S. military has been expanding operations on the African continent through small air bases set up in roughly half a dozen African nations ranging from Mauritania in the west to Ethiopia and the Seychelles Islands in the east. The Washington Post did a story on America’s expanding operations in the region, and provided the graphic below. It’s interesting to see where our bases are but even more interesting to see who exactly we’re spying on.
Some of the militant groups on that list you’ve probably heard of. It’s fairly common knowledge that the United States has been using its Reaper drones to make it rain pure hate on al-Qaeda in Yemen for a little while now. There’s also Somalia, which is to Africa what Tatooine is to Star Wars. (*swipes hand*) “These aren’t the white hostages you’re looking for.”
More surprisingly is that the U.S. apparently has plans to increase its involvement around the Lord’s Resistance Army, which of course was made famous by a sex offender’s emotionally manipulative YouTube video. I wonder if Malia Obama watched Kony 2012 and begged her dad to intervene.
Malia: (*crying*) Please daddy! Joseph Kony is bad man! Please send our drone planes and special forces to Central Africa.
Barack: Honey there isn’t really any U.S. interest in the area. An intervention just isn’t worth it.
Malia: (*crying*) You NEVER send the drones places when I ask you to. Whenever Uncle Leon asks you to send them somewhere you do it! Why don’t you love me!?!
Barack: Jesus Christ. Fine. I’ll send some surveillance drones to Central Africa, but I’m not bombing anything.
Malia: (*sweetly*) Thank you daddy! (*skips away*)
Kids today, amiright?
There’s also an al-Qaeda franchise (al-Qaeda is sort of like Quiznos in that way) in west Africa that, according to U.S. intelligence, only has regional goals rather than plans of attacking the United States any time soon. But my guess is that if you hang up a sign over your headquarters that says “al-Qaeda” then the U.S. is going to take an interest in you.
Anyway, all pretty interesting stuff.
- [image via The Washington Post]