When asked, most Americans would say that the US is fighting two wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. In truth, American military activity is far more ubiquitous than that:
‘Since 2001, the US defense budget has increased by more than a trillion dollars, not including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today US military operations are involved in scores of countries across all the five continents. The US military is the world’s largest landlord, with significant military facilities in nations around the world, and with a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the UK.1 Some of these are vast, such as the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command, which has recently been expanded to accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft.2 The US Central Command (CENTCOM) is active in 20 countries across the Middle Eastern region, and is actively ramping-up military training, counterterrorism programs, logistical support, and funding to the military in various nations. At this point, the US has some kind of military presence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Yemen.3 Meanwhile, The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) supports military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.4 Many of these activities are indirectly related to US wars – for example, the US military is “helping” the Kyrgyz military – probably because we use Kyrgyzstan as a supply route to Afghanistan. Its new president, Almazbek Atambayev said recently that he was planning to close an important American military base there when its lease runs out in 2014. Meanwhile, we are also “helping” the military in Turkmenistan, just in case the Kyrgyzstan base is closed.” ‘
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