Here Come The Drones, Or The True Reason For The Mali Incursion

Tyler Durden's picture

Given our recent discussion (here and here) of the rising importance of Africa in the world's power and money echelons, it is not entirely surprising that the NY Times reports that US military command in Africa is actively preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa to increase "unarmed surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups" that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. It would appear Niger will be the most likely place for the base - from which officials envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones though, of course, they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens. “This is directly related to the Mali mission, but it could also give Africom a more enduring presence for I.S.R.,” one American military official said Sunday, referring to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Perhaps, actually scratch the "perhaps", what is really happening is the US now has a drone base with which to supervise Chinese expansion in Northweast Africa, anda drone fleet to use defensively and offensively as it sees fit.

From - "The Beijing Conference": See How China Quietly Took Over Africa


And so it would appear we can draw a big red circle over northwest Africa in the map above which is where the US will literally have a bird's eye view of all the resources that China is sequestering, and all the infrastructure that the world's most populous nation is setting up.

Next we need a little dose of the perpetual "Al-Qaeda" bogeyman in Central, Eastern, and finally South Africa and the US will have military control over a continent that China is rapidly doing all it cen to colonize from the ground up.

Via NY Times,

The United States military command in Africa is preparing plans to establish a drone base in northwest Africa to increase unarmed surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.


For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.


If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border of Mali, where French and Malian troops are now battling Qaeda-backed fighters who control the northern part of that country...


The immediate impetus for a drone base in the region is to provide surveillance assistance to the French-led operation in Mali. “This is directly related to the Mali mission, but it could also give Africom a more enduring presence for I.S.R.,” one American military official said Sunday, referring to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.


A handful of unarmed Predator drones would carry out surveillance missions in the region and fill a desperate need for more detailed information on a range of regional threats, including militants in Mali and the unabated flow of fighters and weapons from Libya. American military commanders and intelligence analysts complain that such information has been sorely lacking.


The United States military has a very limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali. ...


If approved, the base could ultimately have as many as 300 United States military and contractor personnel, but it would probably begin with far fewer people than that, military officials said.


Some Africa specialists expressed concern that setting up a drone base in Niger or in a neighboring country, even if only to fly surveillance missions, could alienate local people who may associate the distinctive aircraft with deadly attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.


Officials from Niger did not respond to e-mails over the weekend about the plan, but its president, Mahamadou Issoufou, has expressed a willingness to establish what he called in a recent interview “a long-term strategic relationship with the U.S.”




Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who heads the Intelligence Committee, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday that in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, there was “an effort to establish a beachhead for terrorism, a joining together of terrorist organizations.”




General Ham said during an interview on his visit to Niger that it had been very difficult for American intelligence agencies to collect consistent, reliable intelligence about what was going on in northern Mali, as well as in other largely ungoverned parts of the sub-Saharan region.


“It’s tough to penetrate,” he said. “It’s tough to get access for platforms that can collect. It’s an extraordinarily tough environment for human intelligence, not just ours but the neighboring countries as well.”


The State Department has been extraordinarily wary of allowing drones to operate in the region, fearful of criticism that the United States is trying to militarize parts of Africa...


American drones regularly conduct surveillance flights over Somalia and occasionally launch airstrikes against people suspected of being members of the Shabab, a militant group linked to Al Qaeda.




“Without operating locations on the continent, I.S.R. capabilities would be curtailed, potentially endangering U.S. security,” General Ham said in a statement submitted to the House Armed Services Committee last March. “Given the vast geographic space and diversity in threats, the command requires increased ISR assets to adequately address the security challenges on the continent.”

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Want a current map of the US drone bases in Africa to replace that old Chinese resource one?



Here ya go, use this, much better.

Tyler Durden's picture

The map above is of Chinese activity on the ground in Africa as of mid-2012.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Sorry, I was being sarcastic: that's the "sanitised" Washington Post version that forgets to mention all of them.


I'll dig something better up as an apology. And yes, I know where the map is from.


Out of date, but useful comparison of French / USA military-resource base in Africa, 2004ish. [Useful to track progression of bases: USA / French shared base in N.Somalia & so on]

john39's picture

And here comes the debt to further enslave Mali... iMF approves billions in loans for Mali:

tsx500's picture

dunno about you , but i think i've seen this movie before . . . . . . . .

Fortunate Fool's picture

So the french attacked Mali to allow the US to install a drone base in Niger? Lol!
Another example of twisted logic, Durden...

By the way, how is your "disastrous" french military operation going in Mali?

knukles's picture

Same sequence of events from Egypt to Libya to Syria. 
Europeans bitch, piss and moan, intervene first and the US follows lickety split full Monty...

Worked out swell, fellas.

CH1's picture

It's ALL about resources.

Everything else is PR.

tbd108's picture

The Chinese are all over Africa buying up mines, etc. The US wants to stop it using whatever it takes (drones, boots on the ground, whatever).

Joe Davola's picture

URGENT TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR ALL US CITIZENS ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT:  Keep your rfid passport on your person at all times, it helps the hellfire targeting mechanism.

Also, the nearest US embassy or safe house may not be your best choice if you feel threatened.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

All your continents are belong to us

Muppet Pimp's picture

Would be interesting (perhaps Eye Opening) to see a similar map showing Chinese assets in the Americas.

zerozulu's picture

ultimately china will have to quell the dollar.

Lore's picture

This is ridiculous. America would never encroach on the airspace of another sovereign nation.  It would be like Venezuela reconnoitering over Florida.

Janice's picture

I'm sure that this is an irrelevant fact, But isn't Mali a large gold producing country?

Muessin's picture

All this French kissing in Mali may also be linked to the uranium, non?

France is the world's second largest producer of nuclear powered Megawatts. And it supplies more than 75% of its domestic energy from nuclear power - second to none in the world.

Currently French state owned energy giant Areva strips a great deal of its uranium needs from Mali's eastern neighbor Niger and its largest mine in the Touareg region - however it is believed that Mali also has considerable uranium reserves, on top of a lot of other shiny stuff…

"It's the uranium, stupid!"



SamAdams's picture

This is why Baby Bush was reported to be in Africa about 3 wks ago before any of this happened.  Murder Inc.

Now, China... really, you think the USA cares about China in Africa?  Did you forget that the USA has sold US energy resources and land to China?  Did you forget that O'bama had the US southern border radar removed?  Did you notice China has been vocal in requesting the disarmament of US citizens?  Did you notice that the sell-off of US paper by China was actually a "trade-off"???  In Soviet States of Amerika, everyone work for Government!

And yes, the powers will control the Uranium without doubt.

palmereldritch's picture

 "The Chinese are all over Africa buying up mines, etc. The US wants to stop it using whatever it takes (drones, boots on the ground, whatever)."

The US wants to stop the Chinese?  You mean the same bankrupt French and US forces that are captive to currency debt held by the Chinese are going to turn on their creditors or follow their instructions and keep the Globalist mercantile ponzi expansion moving?

If in fact this is even somewhat true the real question then becomes: Is this the same client-enforcer arrangement piloting the drones over the US mainland?  And eventually one must consider asking, By whom and from where will the drones ultimately be piloted?

EDIT - Addendum:  This war, if pitched as the West vs China for resources will be as phony as that war of the West vs Communism for 'democracy and freedom' aka The Cold War which was just another phony war for MIC expansion and Globalist geopolitical resource consolidation. Same war, just different continent and different role players this time. All building blocks for the global feudal control grid policed and enforced by omnipresent drones controlled by the top of the pyramid. 

The gold is real though and it's definitely in demand so maybe, in the short term at least, we have The Gold War.

Wake up and smell the dystopia people!

Lore's picture

America wants to send drones to keep watch and make sure the Chinese get all the raw materials they need so they can keep manufacturing stuff for the shelves at Wal-Mart.

Race Car Driver's picture

> The Chinese are all over Africa buying up mines, etc. The US wants to stop it using whatever it takes (drones, boots on the ground, whatever).

Nonsense. It's not real... this is a global(ist) heist and it's been coordinated since day one.


This particular Hegelian scam is just another case of The Boy Who Cried Rat


When Ren and Stimpy are caught stealing out of garbage cans, they are chased out on the streets, and begin to starve. The pair then hatches a plan to get money and food: disguise Ren as a mouse and put him in a family's home, and turn Stimpy into a neighborhood mouse catcher.

tbd108's picture

The Western powers have been looting Africa for a long time. The game has been played by hiring mercenaries to teach locals a lesson in case they don't behave and do what they are told. If that doesn't work the US Army is sent in. I have an old friend who was a tank commander in the 70's who was sent to Central Africa to work with the French Foreign Legion to teach a local tribe that was interfering with a mining operation that it wasn't good for their health. I suppose you could call that "globalist" but whatever. The Chinese are now interfering with these sources of commodities to try to secure them for their own industry. Their trillion dollar hoard is not going to stop the Western powers from running low-level wars over African commodities.

trav777's picture


the western powers have been building roads, bridges, power lines, hospitals, and telecommunications in africa for a long time.

Hardly looting it.  Why do you hate yourself so much?

tbd108's picture

Dear High School History Book Believer,

I am a successful retired engineer married to a wonderful woman from a most respectable and successful family. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (on the edge of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State). All of my children have good jobs and are living quite well. I am surrounded by good neighbors (not rich but comfortable) and a beautiful salmon filled river passes through my property. I have two good dogs who are not only friendly but are good watch dogs too! My health is good and is the same for virtually all of my family. Hate myself? You are a confused half-wit who still is looking to CNN to tell you what is going on in the world. Please say hello to Piers Morgan for me next time he is over for dinner. And don't forget to take out your mother's trash after all she is allowing you to live in her basement (or is it the crawl space?) for free and is feeding you on her social security checks.

nmewn's picture

Nous avons reçu nous-mêmes perdus dans les déserts d'Afrique du Nord ont à nouveau et en panne d'essence, d'eau et de nourriture. Ne être un bon allié et envoyer certains au-dessus pronto.

I say send Hillary to the rescue...again.

SafelyGraze's picture

"drone" rhymes with "bathtub"


Go Tribe's picture

It's called the Hillary Doctrine. Overweight, depressed, double-vision.

Dealer's picture

Twisted logic?  You're a clown.  

Fortunate Fool's picture

I guess you are the fucking clown. Since when the CIA/NSA need intervention of a foreign army to install a drone base?

You guys are fucking morons that have been swallowing the fucking bullshit puked by Durden ever since the conflict in Mali started.

I've exposed his bullshit in his other posts already. It seems that critical thinking is seriously missing around here. Not too surprising from all the US public school (un)educated commenting here.

Last question. Where were the US drones currently flying over Mali based before?

goldfish1's picture

"Biography: A desperate mind in a lost world..."

Sums it up perfectly.

JOYFUL's picture

Alright, alright, so you caught us out, Big Fella. This talk about motives for malfeasance in Mali is all smoke n mirrors...but stop torturing us with your logic, and we'll confess to the whole thing.

For years now, the Pentagon and State have itched with the urge to fight back against scamming Nigerian fraudsters, who have stretched across the Atlantic with impugnity to conduct a campaign of terror against helpless victims -old ladies, millionaires, joesixpacks, no one has been spared.

The loss of countless peoples savings to these letter-launching lunatics is nothing compared to the loss of face which the USA has suffered in seeing it's own tools of capitalist wealth creation turned against it, and by people who have never even worked for GoldmanSachs, JPM, or any of the main pillars of phony finance and weapons of mass finacial destruction.

General Ham, speaking for the porcine producers of Merika's monopoly of international mischief, has finally laid it on the line, for international terrorists to take note -

  “Given the vast geographic space and diversity in threats, the command requires increased ISR assets to adequately address the security challenges on the continent.”

No longer will African letter-writing wannabee wallstreet walla wallas be able to conduct their evil adventurism in the privacy of their walled earthen compounds, he went on to say...

This is the age of full spectrum dominance, and if we see so much as a pen, or other potential terroristic weapon, being picked up by suspects in Afreaka, you know that we are going to intervene in kinetic fashion. the soon to be retired, and newly minted member of some corporate board or other said in closing, while pounding the desk with his shoe!


There; we've made a clean breast of it, and admittedly, it feels good to have told the truth here for once. Mr Fool. The Tylers.

Miss Expectations's picture

"For years now, the Pentagon and State have itched with the urge to fight back against scamming Nigerian fraudsters..."

You know that Chelsea Clinton married Marc Mezinsky (Goldman Sachs).  Marc is the son of Ed Mezinsky (felon):

An ABC News investigation revealed that Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, had been caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams and began to steal from people to further his schemes.

Go Tribe's picture

Chelsea's a pathological liar, just like mom. Funny that her father in law always wanted to go for the "home run". Shoulda bought physical. Another dumbshit.

john39's picture

maybe you missed it, but zato ignores borders

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

2008 Africom - USA base - Oil - Arms Sales - Proposed action Google interactive map of Africa.


Hint: this is where the action's at: you can do the same kind of overlay, without using other software for 2012 / 13. Give a man a fish, and all that. I'd urge you all to start playing around with the Open Source Analytical tools you can find out there.


Within 30 mins, even without using automated trackers like Recorded Future, you can start creating maps that would make the NSA / CIA of the 1980's cry with envy. Most stuff is open source these days, if you look hard enough - that's the trick. The wider your infosphere, the easier things are to spot. [And why the current Ancient Mummies in the US Gov are such a handicap]


Be Seeing You.

knukles's picture


(there, fixed it for ya)

nmewn's picture

"What does it matter!?!?!"


Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Their site has been down for a bit you know. Now back up. "Ours is not to wonder why, ours is just to do..."


Weeble, weeble.


p.s. Check the 2004 map for known Salafist operational zones, that's why I used it. This isn't a new issue... just a useful one now.

Zer0head's picture

AEM you need Contributor staus

(not that any here want to see Ilene become a 99er but I hear Leo is looking for a shill)

Lore's picture

Fascinating. Thanks AEM for the link.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It is pretty cool just how quick you can parse through documents using nothing more than google and make cluster maps (among other things) showing seemingly unrelated items using a few simple search terms with something like a 3 machine Hadoop cluster. All done with open source software and freely available documentation.

For all you finance and tech people out of work right now looking to refocus your skill sets.

Mathematics bitchez.

TideFighter's picture

Which one of those spots is the Rat Patrol? The best series, ever.

praxis's picture

Oh I loved Rat Patrol.  Four guys in two jeeps with 2 .50 mounted machine guns were able to defeat and hold back 1/3 of Rommel's Africa Corp on a weekly basis.  Almost as good as the never ending History Channel specials on American flying "aces" in P-51's that dominated the skies over Europe.  And I'm sure those krauts in their ME-262's just turned and fled in abject terror...

trav777's picture

only when they saw the "Red Tails"...I saw that in a movie

NoClueSneaker's picture

... nope. The map shows inability of TBTF to put Bernank's forfeited money on the table. To be contiinued - the solution is an Trillion Plutonium coin.

ebworthen's picture

My immediate thought was whether or not the U.S. would ever use the drones against the Chinese or if this was simply an extension of slavery - since the U.S. Military and Police forces use them right here in the good 'ole U.S.S.A. and have long since sold us out to the Chinese.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Stop thinking in terms of Nation States. That's 20th Century thinking.

Pop Quiz: What do you know about chip hardware hacks, and who built the chips for the drones?




ebworthen's picture

Right, with you.

I'd wager China built the chips.

There is no U.S.A., only the Crony Kleptoligarchy that enslaves the citizens of the U.S.S.A., China, Europe, and most of the "civilized" world.

They have to wipe those Muslims out because they don't believe in usury.