U.S. Military Operations in All
Major Regions of the World
by Rick Rozoff, Centre for Research
November 18, 2009
On January 20, a changing of the guard
occurred in the United States White House with two-term president
George W. Bush being replaced by former freshman senator Barack
Bush had continued the policies of his
predecessor Bill Clinton in relation to the Balkans, Iraq and
Latin America - with troops and a massive military base in Kosovo,
regular bombings of Iraq and a monumental expansion of military
aid to Colombia - and in addition launched two wars of his own,
those against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq two years later.
Obama, so thoroughly does U.S. polity
predetermine individual administrations' policies, entered office
by intensifying the deadly drone missile attacks in Pakistan begun
by Bush in late 2008 and announced that he was doubling the number
of American troops in Afghanistan.
Already presiding over the world's largest
military budget, officially 41.5% of world expenditures in 2008
and far larger with non-Defense Department spending factored in,
in April the new president requested from Congress an additional
$85 billion in supplemental funding for the war in Afghanistan
and the occupation of Iraq.
U.S. lawmakers were more than accommodating
and on July 24 Obama signed Iraq and Afghanistan War Supplemental
Appropriations amounting to $106 billion.
On October 28, he signed the $680 billion
2010 National Defense Authorization Act which includes another
$130 billion to fund what his administration now calls overseas
contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
With the authorization of $106 billion
in July, the last official supplemental appropriation for the
wars, and $130 billion last month for Afghanistan and Iraq the
combined official spending for both wars will exceed $1 trillion.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
(SIPRI) 2009 Year Book, total international military spending
for 2008 was not much more than that: $1.464 trillion.
Eight days after the authorization of
the $680 billion Pentagon budget for next year, the New York Times
reported that the top American military commander, chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, said "he
expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for
emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,"
with the newspaper estimating the size of the demand to be $50
Despite the Obama administration's pledge
to the contrary, July's war supplement may not be the last one.
It will simply be renamed an emergency appropriation. The first
of many more to come.
Not only does one country account for
the overwhelming plurality of world military expenditures, but
that nation also has troops and bases on all six habitable continents
(as well as a 54-year military mission in Antarctica, Operation
Deep Freeze) and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups and six
navy fleets that roam the world's oceans and seas at will. It
is also expanding a global interceptor missile system on land,
on sea, in the air and into space that will leave it invulnerable
Reports from the first twelve days of
November indicate the global scope of the first attempt in history
by one nation to achieve uncontested worldwide military power.
A survey of that period will trace recent
trends across the globe with the alphabet as a compass.
Any day now Washington may announce plans
to add 40,000 or more troops to the 68,000 already there. 
Plans are underway to accommodate that influx.
The American military compound at and
fanning out from the Bagram Air Field has been expanded from 3,993
to 5,198 acres since 2001 and is in the process of further enlargement.
It already hosts some 25,000 U.S. troops and contractors and "a
new parking ramp supporting the world's largest aircraft is to
be completed this spring....[I]t is continuing to grow to keep
up with the requirements of an escalating war and troop increases."
Regarding non-military personnel at Bagram
and elsewhere in the nation, "Contractors in Afghanistan
outnumber U.S. troops there"  as they do in Iraq.
The Army Times recently reported on the
main purpose of the airbase at Bagram. Last month the number of
U.S. and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan was the highest since
July of 2008, with 647 bombs dropped in October compared to 752
a year ago July. "The airstrike numbers don't include strafing
runs, attacks by special operations AC-130 gunships, launches
of small missiles or helicopter attacks." 
A U.S. Defense Department news source
reported on November 5 that Air Forces Africa commanders visited
Mali and Senegal in West Africa. Vice commander Michael Callan
"visited Mali's 33d Parachute Regiment, a unit that carries
out operations using tactical vehicles and communication equipment
provided by the U.S. Defense and State Departments." The
Malian military is involved in a counterinsurgency war in the
nation's north aided by Washington.
A commander of Mali's armed forces said,
"Ninety-five percent of our soldiers were trained by the
U.S, and we've engaged with you in exercises like Flintlock, Joint
Planning and Assessment Teams and special bilateral training."
 Flintlock military exercises have been held in different locations
on the African continent for years, this year's being conducted
by the new Africa Command (AFRICOM) for the first time. The U.S.
also recently led multinational military exercises in Gabon and
Uganda on both ends of the continent. 
The USS San Juan, "a fast-attack
submarine," arrived in South Africa on November 4, "setting
the stage for a series of first-ever, at-sea engagements with
the South African Navy submarine force." 
Robert Simmons , NATO's special representative
to the South Caucasus and Central Asia - former Senior Adviser
to the United States Assistant Secretary of State for European
and Eurasian Affairs on NATO - was in this South Caucasus nation
earlier this month and announced that he had recruited an initial
contingent of Armenian troops for the war in Afghanistan. This
marks the first deployment to that nation of soldiers from the
Russian-led seven-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization
(CSTO), a potential counterbalance to NATO in post-Soviet space.
"Simmons expressed NATO's 'appreciation
to Armenia for its strong contributions' to alliance missions,
which he said began in Kosovo and will now be repeated in Afghanistan."
In reference to his mission of pulling
yet another Russian ally into the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty
Organization orbit, Simmons said, "We are continuing cooperation
with the Armenian Defense Ministry. NATO assists the implementation
of reforms and the development of strategically important documents."
After participating in NATO war games
off the coast of Scotland, the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole
paid visits to the capitals of Finland and Estonia in the Baltic
Sea. "Cole hosted a reception in Helsinki, which was joined
by Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe,
U.S. Naval Forces Africa and Allied Joint Forces Command Naples.
"Immediately following the departure
from Helsinki, Cole arrived in Tallinn, Estonia, a few hours later."
The beginning of this month the guided-missile
frigate USS John L. Hall with sailors of Helicopter Anti-Submarine
Squadron 48 "completed a theater security cooperation (TSC)
port visit to Klaipeda, Lithuania."
A U.S. Navy official stated: "We
are here as part of the United States Navy's continuing presence
in the Baltic Sea....We are also here to work with the Lithuanian
Navy, who has been a valuable partner and our visit here is part
of the ongoing relationship between our two countries and our
two navies."  
On November 3 Estonian Defense Minister
Jaak Aaviksoo was at the Pentagon to meet with Defense Secretary
Robert Gates and Associated Press reported on the occasion that
he was "discussing with the United States why NATO needs
plans in case his region is attacked." 
In early November three high-ranking American
military officials arrived in the country. The three - U.S. Army
Lieutenant General Benjamin R. Mixon, Commanding General of U.S.
Army, Pacific, Vice-Admiral John M. Bird, Commander of U.S. Navy
7th Fleet, and U.S. Marine Corps Major General Randolph D. Alles,
Director for Strategic Planning and Policy at the U.S. Pacific
Command - engaged in discussions focusing "on interoperability,
readiness in the region, security-force assistance, and bilateral
approaches to maintaining regional stability." 
On November 12 the U.S.-led Tiger Shark
military exercises to train Bangladeshi naval commandos ended.
A press release on the operation stated: "The training demonstrates
the United States government's commitment to Bangladesh and to
regional security by promoting military-to-military relationships
throughout Asia and the Pacific." 
The Pentagon's European Command (EUCOM)
reported on November 2 that its Joint Task Force-East had completed
an almost three-month series of trainings in Bulgaria and Romania
which began on August 7 and included Stryker and Airborne units
destined for the war in Afghanistan.  "Nearly 600 members
of the Romanian Land Forces, 500 Bulgarian Land Forces, and more
than 1,500 U.S. service members participated in this year's combined
After U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden's
visit to the country on October 22, a news source in Romania wrote
of Washington's new interceptor missile plans: "A strong
and modern surveillance system located in Romania, Bulgaria and
Turkey could monitor three hot areas at once: the Black Sea, the
Caucasus and the Caspian and relevant zones in the Middle East."
The Obama administration signed a ten-year
military treaty with the Alvaro Uribe government on September
30 which "gives American military forces access to seven
Colombian army, navy and air force bases, but also to major international
civilian airports in the country. In addition, U.S. personnel
and defense contractors will enjoy diplomatic immunity under the
A copy of the pact surfaced on November
4 and detailed that it "allows Washington access to civilian
airports as well as military bases" and as a result "the
US will have access to all international airports across the Andean
nation including airports in the cities of Barranquilla, San Andres,
Cartagena, Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Bucaramanga." 
In the initial phase an estimated 1,400
U.S. personnel will be assigned to the seven bases with the likelihood
that the number will be increased as Washington sees fit. 
Eva Golinger observed that one of the
newly acquired bases, that at Palanquero, was identified by a
American Air Force document as providing the Pentagon "an
opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout
South America...." 
Two South American nations bordering or
near Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia, were not slow to respond.
Earlier this month Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez stated in his weekly radio and television address
that "We cannot waste one day to fulfill our mission: to
prepare for war and help the people to get ready for war,"
 warning that an armed conflict with the U.S. client regime
in Bogota "could extend throughout the whole continent."
Days earlier two Venezuelan National Guard
troops were killed at a checkpoint near Colombia and Caracas deployed
15,000 troops to the border.
In his November 13 address Chavez added.
"Don't make a mistake, Mr. Obama, by ordering an attack against
Venezuela by way of Colombia." 
On the same day his Bolivian counterpart,
President Evo Morales, warned "I am convinced that where
there are military bases, the social peace, the democracy and
the development of the nations as well as their integration are
not guaranteed. These facilities are an open provocation against
Morales also said that he failed to comprehend
how the American head of state could have been awarded the Peace
Nobel Price "when his country does everything to promote
wars and conflicts.
"Obama must justify that award by
withdrawing all the troops of his country from around the world...."
Following up on his visit to Prague in
late October, on November 5 U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden hosted
Czech President Vaclav Klaus at the White House and "they
mostly discussed the U.S. plan for a new missile defence architecture."
The two "also talked about the situation
in Afghanistan and Iran" and "Klaus said the United
States knows that it is necessary to continue with the anti-missile
project in Europe." 
The next day U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary
Alexander Vershbow met with Czech defense officials in their nation
to discuss new American missile plans for Eastern Europe, ones
intended to be "stronger, smarter, and swifter" than
the previous Bush administration version and to incorporate all
of Europe under a NATO umbrella.
Vershbow characterized the content of
the talks as having presented "some concrete ideas to begin
that process of developing the Czech role in the new approach"
and said that the Czech contribution could include "potential
facilities here on the territory of the Czech Republic."
On November 4 the local press announced
that "A few U.S. delegations will visit the Czech Republic
in November, following up on the recent visit by U.S. Vice President
Joe Biden, including an expert military team that arrives in Prague
One of those delegations will include
Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
Affairs Ellen Tauscher, who "recently said the command for
the managing and control of elements of the new version of anti-missile
defence could be stationed in the Czech Republic."
"The USA wants to build the system
in cooperation with NATO." 
Earlier this week U.S. Marines completed
the two-week Immediate Response 2009 military training exercises
in the South Caucasus nation of Georgia. The preceding maneuvers
of the same name, those of 2008 in which over 1,000 American troops
participated, ended one day before Georgia started shelling neighboring
South Ossetia and killed several people including a Russian peacekeeper.
Days after that the U.S. client regime
launched an all-out invasion of South Ossetia, triggering a five-day
war with Russia.
The official purpose of this year's exercises
was to train Georgian troops to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan,
but a Russian news source saw matters differently:
"Immediate Response was clearly designed
not to fight against the Taliban or al-Qaeda.....Commander of
US Army in Europe General Carter Ham visited Georgia to inspect
the exercises but no one came from Afghanistan.
"Perhaps, the exercises were aimed
at issuing a warning to Russia." 
As the drills were ending Alexander Shliakhturov,
chief of Russia's military intelligence, said "that he did
not rule out that Georgia might again use force against breakaway
South Ossetia and Abkhazia." 
A lengthier account of Shliakhturov's
concerns appeared in the Georgian media and included these quotes:
"According to our information, Georgia
is still getting military aid from Ukraine, Israel and NATO. NATO
countries, especially Eastern European countries, provide Georgia
with arms and equipment, Israel provides Georgia with air equipment,
the USA trains Georgian troops and Ukraine provides Georgia with
heavy equipment, namely, tanks."
"The Russian Intelligence Service
is addressing other dangers too, namely, the efforts being made
by the USA and NATO to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance
and the new US plan to locate anti-missile systems in Europe."
Four days later other Russian sources
revealed "that the United States plans to supply weapons,
including a Patriot-3 air defense system and shoulder-launched
Stinger missiles, worth a total of $100 million, to Georgia."
The next day Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov "recalled the situation in the summer of 2008
when many countries ignored Russian warnings that modern arms
in Saakashvili's hands might prompt this man to unleash military
The chief of the Russian General Staff,
General Nikolai Makarov, said "Georgia is getting large amounts
of weapons supplied from abroad" and "Georgian military
potential is currently higher than last August ." 
Shortly after the Pentagon wrapped up
the largest joint U.S.-Indian military exercises ever, Yudh Abhyas
[Preparation for War] - which featured the first deployment of
new American Stryker armored combat vehicles outside of Iraq and
Afghanistan - at the end of October , it was announced that
"India is negotiating with the United States to acquire state
of the art Javelin anti-tank missiles worth several million dollars
for large-scale induction." 
Days earlier former president George W.
Bush was in India and called on his host nation to join in the
war in Afghanistan, urging the U.S. and India to "work together
to win the war in Afghanistan." 
In early November Arabic language news
sources revealed that "The US military has finished erecting
an advanced radar system in Iraq to monitor the border with Iran,
Syria and Turkey" and that "the radar is a preparatory
measure aimed at providing the United States and its allies advanced
control capabilities in event of a US military strike against
Iranian nuclear facilities." 
The largest-ever joint American-Israeli
military exercises, the two-week Juniper Cobra 10, ended on November
3. They concentrated on live-fire missile interception exercises
described by many observers as a test run for the new continent-wide
NATO missile shield planned for Europe. 
Over 2,000 troops from the two nations
and 17 U.S. warships participated in the war games to create "the
infrastructure that would be necessary in the event that the Obama
administration decides to deploy US systems here in the event
of a conflict." 
The top military commander of United States
European Command and of NATO, Admiral James Stavridis, paid a
three-day call to Israel for the occasion and met with "Chief
of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the Deputy Chief
of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Gantz and several other
On November 1 American arms manufacturer
Raytheon Company announced that it had secured contracts worth
$100 million for a joint interceptor missile program of the U.S.
Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organization.
The Pentagon's European Command has over
100 troops stationed in Israel's Negev Desert manning an advanced
missile radar site there.
The South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported
on November 1 that "The US and South Korea have completed
joint action plans for responding to a regime collapse and other
internal emergency situations in North Korea...." 
Citing an unidentified South Korean official,
the report contains these details:
"South Korea and the US had long
worked on Concept Plan 5029, to prepare for a regime collapse
and other internal emergencies in North Korea.
"Since its inauguration last year,
the [South Korean President] Lee Myung-bak government has pushed
to convert the concept plan into an operational plan and it was
"If the South Korea-US combined forces
intervene in North Korea's internal instabilities, the South Korean
military will assume the leading role in consideration of neighboring
countries, while the US military will be responsible for the removal
of the North's nuclear facilities and weapons." 
On the final day of last month Washington
expressed its satisfaction at South Korea redeploying troops to
Afghanistan shortly after Pentagon chief Robert Gates' visit to
Seoul and the South Korean defense ministry on October 22.
"Washington supports and welcomes
South Korea's plans to deploy troops to Afghanistan...the U.S.
Department of State said." 
This month began with former U.S. president
Bill Clinton arriving in the capital of Kosovo for the unveiling
of a gaudy 11-foot gold-sprayed bronze statue of himself on November
He was being hailed by the breakaway entity's
nominal prime minister, former Kosovo Liberation Army chieftain
Hashim Thaci, for his role in launching the 78-day NATO air war
against Yugoslavia in March of 1999. That sustained bombing campaign,
Operation Allied Force, inaugurated the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization as an active war-making machine and issued in the
ten-year war cycle that continues to this day with no indication
of it ever abating.
A Russian commentary of the following
day put the ceremony in perspective:
"Over the course of the 10-week conflict,
NATO aircraft flew over 38,000 combat missions; even the German
Luftwaffe had its first taste of combat over the skies of Yugoslavia
since having its wings clipped in World War II.
"The ensuing 78-day aerial bombardment
campaign, which grew continuously more aggressive and reckless,
spared little infrastructure: factories, bridges, roads and power
stations were all bombed with deadly accuracy. As a result, thousands
of innocent civilians suffered great deprivation on both sides
of the battle.
"In perhaps the worst public relations
disaster for NATO during the conflict, five US 'smart' bombs severely
damaged the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese
journalists. NATO officials, in an effort to cool Chinese outrage,
blamed the error on outdated maps. Chinese officials rejected
both the apologies and explanations." 
Over the past year the nine-year-long
U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan has been extended into Pakistan,
the so-called AfPak theater of operations.
On November 4 the U.S. launched its latest
drone missile attack into North Waziristan, killing two Pakistanis.
"According to independent reports,
since August 2008 alone, around 70 cross-border predator strikes
carried out by American drones have resulted in the death of 687
Pakistani civilians." 
The Nation, a Pakistani daily newspaper,
reported on November 12 that the massive increase in NATO convoys
crossing the country en route to Afghanistan are overwhelming
the country's highways and that "Pakistani authorities are
simply helpless in checking truckloads of North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation (NATO) forces badly damaging the Indus Highway, the
repair of which would cost billions of rupees to the national
exchequer....NATO trucks and trailers have not been [held accountable]
even once for the repair and maintenance work, while cracks are
developing on the Indus Highway after every three to four months
due to overloading...." 
A local news sources wrote on November
9 that "The US has deployed a new expeditionary force in
the Persian Gulf - the first time a permanent self-sustaining
US naval force has been set up in the region.
"The newly established Expeditionary
Strike Group (ESG) 5 will serve in the area of responsibility
of the US Navy 5th Fleet Combined Task Force (CTF) 51 in Manama,
Bahrain," where the entire U.S. Fifth Fleet is based. 
Two American servicemen were killed in
a mine attack in Mindanao in late September, the first official
deaths in the U.S.-assisted counterinsurgency war against not
only the Abu Sayyaf Group but also the Moro National Liberation
Front and the New People's Army.
Filipino senators "called for the
abrogation of the [Visiting Forces Agreement], saying the US Seabees
killed in the explosion weren't supposed to be there, as...the
presence of the alleged land mine constitutes the area as a war
Pentagon chief Robert Gates insisted earlier
in the month "that some 600 US counter-terrorism troops will
remain in the southern Philippines...." 
An opponent of the active American military
involvement in the country said that "the US military has
established its permanent presence in the Philippines through
the auspices of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Many of the
US soldiers are currently deployed in Mindanao under the Joint
Special Operations Task Force-Philippines headquartered in Zamboanga
On November 12 Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton was in Manila after the Philippine Senate recently passed
a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to renegotiate
the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement, "which enables U.S. forces
to train and assist Philippine troops" and "vowed...to
continue American military support." 
Before departing for the Philippines Clinton
hosted Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in Washington
"to discuss the new anti-missile shield plan." 
On the same day, November 2, U.S. Air
Force personnel transferred five C-130 Hercules military cargo
planes from the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to the Powidz Air
Base in Poland.
A U.S. Air Force website offered these
details: "Prepping Polish aircrews and maintainers for the
transition to the larger Lockheed-Martin built Hercules has been
accomplished with a blend of English language and specialty knowledge
training at bases in Texas and Arkansas and through a type of
work mentorship exchange between U.S. and Polish air force personnel...."
A Polish air force officer revealed the
purpose of the U.S. transfer in stating "The main task for
the C-130s is to support our contingency operations in Afghanistan,
Chad, Africa and everywhere Polish troops and supplies are needed."
After NATO defense chiefs, including the
U.S.'s Gates, met in Slovakia late last month and U.S. Vice President
Biden visited Poland at about the same time, Warsaw announced
that it was deploying 600 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing
the nation's total toward the 3,000 mark.
Sweden's Chief of Defense Staff General
Sverker Goranson was in Washington, D.C. in early November and
was interviewed by Defense News.
His nation, which has for decades presented
itself as neutral, has 500 troops serving under NATO command in
Afghanistan - Sweden and Finland are in charge of four northern
provinces for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
- and five Swedish soldiers were injured in a roadside bomb explosion
on November 11, two them seriously.
Goranson's comments demonstrate how far
from anything resembling neutrality Sweden has recently strayed:
"The transformation we are conducting
is a huge turnaround, and as I told Adm. [Michael] Mullen [U.S.
Joint Chiefs chairman], we know where we are going....The major
shift is globalization and the fact that most of the things we
are dealing with aren't necessarily about national boundaries.
"What turned Sweden around is not
focusing on national defense, but being a part of this globalized
world and solving issues together, because wherever conflicts
are, whether in the Balkans or Afghanistan...."
When asked about the potential for a showdown
in the Arctic Circle with Russia, he spoke about starting "discussions
between the United States, Norway, Denmark and Canada [all NATO
members] about what are the borders....As part of the Nordic Battle
Group, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark are already sharing
the operational picture in the air and on the sea, and that can
be extended to the High North."
Lastly, the Swedish visitor, whose meetings
included one with the U.S.'s top military commander, acknowledged:
"We had a defense resolution in 1996 that said the Swedish
armed forces should be completely NATO-interoperable, which is
the standard we have worked to accordingly, to make sure that
wherever we go, as we did to Afghanistan." 
The government of Yemen is waging military
operations against Shiite rebels in the north of the country and
neighboring Saudi Arabia started launching air strikes against
them earlier this month.
On November 10 Yemen's official news agency,
Saba, announced that the U.S. has signed a military cooperation
agreement with the nation.
The news agency also quoted Brigadier
General Jeffrey Smith, the commander of the U.S. 5th Signal Command,
"as renewing Washington's support for Yemen's unity, security
and stability." 
One account of the agreement was provided
under the headline "Yemen, US sign military deal to fight
As the rebels are Shiite Muslims, Washington
is exploiting the conflict to recruit Saudi Arabia and other Gulf
nations against Iran.
Yemen, on the southern end of the Arabian
Peninsula, lies directly across from Djibouti where the Pentagon
maintains its only permanent base in Africa, Camp Lemonier, and
from Somalia, which U.S. warships periodically shell from the
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