While the U.S. has always pursued parts of its imperial strategy in "the shadows," to use a phrase from my Cold War childhood, in this new strategy everyday basing, too, is disappearing into those shadows, which is why Nick Turse's latest piece on the subject is a small reportorial triumph of time and effort.
Nick Turse's new book of investigative reporting reveals that the U.S. military has been involved in one way or another -- "construction, military exercises, advisory assignments, security cooperation, or training missions" -- with more than 90 percent of Africa's 54 nations, despite military spokespersons insistence that the U.S. maintains only one permanent "base."
Whatever Operation New Normal may be pales in comparison to the real "new normal" for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The lower-cased variant is bold and muscular. It's an expeditionary force on a war footing. To the men involved, it's a story of growth and expansion, new battlefields, "combat," and "war."
There may be no nation that can get things entirely right when it comes to Libya but one nation has shown an unnerving ability to get things wrong. Should that country really be the one in charge of the delicate process of building a cohesive security force to combat violent, fractious armed groups?
Since 9/11, the U.S. military has been making inroads in Africa, building alliances, facilities, and a sophisticated logistics network. Despite repeated assurances by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) that military activities on the continent were minuscule, a 2013 investigation by TomDispatch exposed surprisingly large and expanding U.S. operations.