Wednesday, October 09, 2002

from the Nation article Operation Endless Deployment:

Three years later, Bush's pledge to seek a more streamlined US global military presence has been cast aside under the guise of fighting "terrorists and tyrants" of Washington's choosing.

Since September 2001 US forces have built, upgraded or expanded military facilities in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Turkey, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; authorized extended training missions or open-ended troop deployments in Djibouti, the Philippines and the former Soviet republic of Georgia; negotiated access to airfields in Kazakhstan; and engaged in major military exercises, involving thousands of US personnel, in Jordan, Kuwait and India. Thousands of tons of military equipment have been added to stockpiles already pre-positioned in Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf states, including Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar. And discussions are still under way with Yemen about increasing American access to facilities there and establishing an intelligence-gathering installation aimed at monitoring activities in Sudan and Somalia.

These forward bases, many of which have been arranged through secretive, ad hoc arrangements, currently house an estimated 60,000 US military personnel. This includes 20,000-25,000 troops in the Persian Gulf, poised to serve as the opening wave of a US invasion of Iraq.

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