Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan


| 2/13/2012 8:57:41 AM


Tags: war, modern warfare, military, unmanned drones, black ops, Afghanistan, politics, TomDispatch, Nick Turse,

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This post originally appeared on TomDispatch.

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In late December, the lot was just a big blank: a few burgundy metal shipping containers sitting in an expanse of crushed eggshell-colored gravel inside a razor-wire-topped fence.  The American military in Afghanistan doesn’t want to talk about it, but one day soon, it will be a new hub for the American drone war in the Greater Middle East.

Next year, that empty lot will be a two-story concrete intelligence facility for America’s drone war, brightly lit and filled with powerful computers kept in climate-controlled comfort in a country where most of the population has no access to electricity.  It will boast almost 7,000 square feet of offices, briefing and conference rooms, and a large “processing, exploitation, and dissemination” operations center—and, of course, it will be built with American tax dollars. 

Nor is it an anomaly.  Despite all the talk of drawdowns and withdrawals, there has been a years-long building boom in Afghanistan that shows little sign of abating.  In early 2010, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had nearly 400 bases in Afghanistan.  Today, Lieutenant Lauren Rago of ISAF public affairs tells TomDispatch, the number tops 450.

cnetguy junkaddress
2/17/2012 2:02:51 PM

Maybe if we had helped Afghanistan to become a more stable country years before 2011 we would not be here today. Of course, that story is doomed to be repeated over and over. Long-term sacrifices don't sit well with voters, and politicians will lambast millions of dollars in aid that selfish voters won't bother to understand, even if means that later we'll lose *trillions* of dollars and *thousands* of American lives. :-(