Monday, February 25, 2013

The US Just Opened a Drone Base in Niger

 

Just when you thought you'd forgotten all about that recently revealed "secret" US drone base in Saudi Arabia, there's this: President Obama just revealed yet another far-flung desert drone base, this one in Niger.

Well, it wasn't that straightforward. Obama did not "explicitly reveal the drone base" in a letter to Congress, the Washington Post reports. Instead he said that some 100 military personnel are now posted up in Niger to "provide support for intelligence collection" for a France military operation in neighboring Mali. That that's apparently all code for "our boys will be flying spy planes" comes from a--wait for it--unnamed administration official who tells the Post that nearly all the personnel are with the Air Force.

The drone ops, the official added, are "imminent," and will initially be based in the capital city of Niamey. Eventually the plan is to move everything north to the town of Agadez, closer to the action in Mali. For all the detached, out-of-harm's way characteristics of America's shadow wars abroad, sniffing out suspected bad dudes if still very much about proximity. 

For the rest of the story: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-us-just-opened-a-drone-base-in-niger

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