TomDispatch’s investigative reporter Nick Turse has a piece regarding the Pentagon’s under-the-radar expansion into Africa:
They call it the New Spice Route, an homage to the medieval trade network that connected Europe, Africa, and Asia, even if today’s “spice road” has nothing to do with cinnamon, cloves, or silks. Instead, it’s a superpower’s superhighway, on which trucks and ships shuttle fuel, food, and military equipment through a growing maritime and ground transportation infrastructure to a network of supply depots, tiny camps, and airfields meant to service a fast-growing U.S. military presence in Africa.
Few in the U.S. know about this superhighway, or about the dozens of training missions and joint military exercises being carried out in nations that most Americans couldn’t locate on a map. Even fewer have any idea that military officials are invoking the names of Marco Polo and the Queen of Sheba as they build a bigger military footprint in Africa. It’s all happening in the shadows of what in a previous imperial age was known as “the Dark Continent.”
Labeled the “New Spice Route,” Turse makes the case that the build-up of American military in Africa and around the world dwarfs the military build-up at the height of the Cold War. It is big, it is expensive, and all of it done without the consent or knowledge of the American public. Read the chilling piece at TomDispatch.