US military presence in Ghana

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A May 1, 2003, news report posted on Ghanaweb announced that the United States, in order to "respond to new threats," planned to boost the US military presence in Ghana (Africa). The news story was based on information provided by NATO's supreme commander of allied forces in Europe, General Jim Jones.

[Please note: The following has not been corrected.]

According to the writer's "'pentagon' sources, there are plans to station 1000 US toops in Ghana. The US is concerned about the rise of islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria and this is preperation towarsd it. This is a top secret, but my sources are very close to the pentagon.
"'We might wish to have more presence in the southern rim of the Mediterranean, where there are a certain number of countries that can be destabilised in the near future, large ungoverned areas across Africa that are clearly the new routes of narco trafficking, terrorists training and hotbeds of instability,' Jones said.
"He also spoke of 'potential threats to the Alliance and our interests.'
"'As Africa becomes more and more of a challenge and a focus, not only for us but for the alliance,' he said the United States would consider 'that the carrier groups of future and the expeditionary strike groups may not spend six months in the Mediterranean but I bet they will spend half the time going down the west coast of Africa.'"

Greg Jaffe's June 10, 2003, news story"In a Massive Shift, U.S. Plans To Reduce Troops in Germany", published in the Wall Street Journal, relates

"In Africa, the defense officials said, the U.S. could increase its presence to as many as 5,000 to 6,500 troops from about 1,500 Marines and special-operations soldiers currently based in Djibouti. The troops would use as many as a dozen semipermanent bases in Africa. U.S. officials also expect to maintain about 5,000 to 10,000 troops in Poland, where they have access to large training ranges without the same environmental restrictions that have made training in Germany increasingly hard.

"The increases in Africa, eastern Europe and the Caucasus are likely to come at the expense of Germany and to a lesser extent Britain, where the U.S. will consolidate its forces. U.S. officials say they are looking at pulling Army soldiers from big garrison bases...."

"In Africa, virtually all of the facilities where the U.S. is looking at establishing a presence will require infrastructure improvements. In North Africa, Pentagon officials are looking at establishing semipermanent bases in Algeria, Morocco and possibly Tunisia. The U.S. expects to keep a small number of troops at these facilities and then rotate through a larger force.

"It is considering smaller, more-austere bases in Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Kenya. U.S. officials said that a key mission for U.S. forces would be to ensure that Nigeria's oil fields, which in the future could account for as much as 25% of all U.S. oil imports, are secure."

On June 11, 2003, Ghanaweb published confirmation of its story: US To Setup Military Base In Ghana. Interpress, on June 10, had published Jim Lobe's article -- "Pentagon Moving Swiftly to Become 'GloboCop'".

The following has been extracted from Ghanaweb:

"The Pentagon is moving at seemingly breakneck speed to re-deploy U.S. forces and equipment around the world in ways that will permit Washington to play GoboCop, according to a number of statements by top officials and defense planners.

"While preparing sharp reductions in forces in Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, military planners are talking about establishing semi-permanent or permanent bases along a giant swathe of global territory--increasingly referred to as 'the arc of instability'--from the Caribbean Basin through Africa to South and Central Asia and across to North Korea.

"The latest details, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, include plans to increase U.S. forces in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea from Yemen, set up semi-permanent 'forward bases' in Algeria, Morocco and possibly Tunisia, and establish smaller facilities in Senegal, Ghana and Mali that could be used to intervene in oil-rich West African countries, particularly Nigeria.

"'We are in the process of taking a fundamental look at our military posture worldwide, including in the United States,' said Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Dundes Wolfowitz on a recent visit to Singapore, where he met with military chiefs and defense ministers from throughout East Asia about U.S. plans there. 'We're facing a very different threat than any one we've faced historically.'"

See article for more background information.

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