From nobody Fri Mar 14 11:54:02 2003
From: email@example.com (Gabriel Lindsay)
Subject: U.S. forces set up Djiubouti garrison
Sender: Eugenie Hall
Organization: Nina Oge
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 02:50:55 GMT
With U.S. troops deployed on a warship off the coast of Djibouti and in an old French Foreign Legion base in that country, Washington has set up another garrison in its expanding military presence around the globe. Dubbed the Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, the Pentagon/CIA operation will oversee U.S. military activities in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen, Somalia, and Kenya. The headquarters and intelligence base for the command will be stationed on board the USS Mount Whitney, berthed off Djibouti’s coast.
Currently 2,000 GIs are based in the former French colony, along with blackened helicopters outfitted with encrypted communications equipment designed for special operations. U.S. Special Forces have been conducting bombing exercises in the country’s mountains using Marine Harrier jets.
U.S. and British special forces have also been training 200 army troops in Yemen, just across the Arab-Persian Gulf from Djibouti. According to the Financial Times, the Pentagon has set up an office that will organize training and equipping Yemen’s military.
A preview of what to expect of U.S. military operations in the region
came last November when the CIA used Djibouti to launch an unmarked
Predator drone over Yemen that fired missiles on a car carrying
terrorist suspects, killing six people.
Operated by remote control, the Predator drones were used by the U.S.
military over Bosnia in the mid-1990s and as part of the bombing
assault against Afghanistan. They were deployed in early October over
no-fly zone in southern Iraq.
Washington’s new military outpost in Djibouti marks another step in its moves to elbow its French imperialist rival out of its way in Africa. Currently some 2,700 French troops are stationed in Djibouti, which formed the base of operations for French forces during the 1990-91 war against Iraq.