As ISIS and its eight or so affiliates attempt to expand into a more global network, the Pentagon has proposed a series of military bases across Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East with the intent of collecting intelligence and carrying out strikes against terrorist groups, The New York Times reports.
"Because we cannot predict the future, these regional nodes — from Morón, Spain, to Jalalabad, Afghanistan — will provide forward presence to respond to a range of crises, terrorist and other kinds. These will enable unilateral crisis response, counterterror operations, or strikes on high-value targets," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a preliminary discussion in September.
The Pentagon's plan would both expand current bases, such as those in Djibouti, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and create new "spokes" in places like Niger and Cameroon. The Pentagon predicts the cost would only be in the "low millions of dollars," and that the bases would hold between 500 and 5,000 American troops, depending on the specific regional threat.
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Some in the State Department are reportedly hesitant about the plan, believing that further entrenching the U.S. military in Africa and the Middle East signals the ever-increasing militarization of American foreign policy.
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