RealNews

War on Terror Africa-style

The Pentagon and the CIA have opened up a new front in the war on terror. It is not in the Gulf, but in the Horn of Africa. From a hi-tech command ship in the Indian Ocean and a secretive base in Djibouti, Washington is collecting information on al-Qaeda and preparing to mount covert operations against its operatives in seven countries. Djibouti is a funny place to fight a war from. Its whitewashed streets carry no hint of menace. The US military are almost nowhere to be seen. In smart cafes in the central square there are bistro tables and tottering chairs. French gendarmes in khaki shorts sip cafe au lait and tap their cigarettes. “Psst, monsieur!” calls a boy standing in the shadows with yesterday’s paper and a packet of Gauloise cigarettes. A man on crutches has his hand outstretched. Here comes a posse of sailors, disembarked from France, all tattoos and jaws, just slightly drunk. Tanned legionnaires with shaven heads prop up the bar and stare straight ahead. A man sits alone by the gates to the mosque, clutching the Koran with a withered hand. I came here to see for myself how the Pentagon was fighting its so-called “war on terror”. Close to the main airport I knew it had set up a camp for nearly 2,000 troops. The idea, I was told, was to stop al-Qaeda members from making themselves at home in this region. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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