Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Publication names Thebephatshwa as secret US base

In new reporting, an online United States publication that specialises in hard-hitting investigative journalism has named the Thebephatshwa Air Base among secret US bases that an army general failed to disclose when he testified before Congress earlier this year.

The Intercept reports that when General Michael Langley, the Africa Command (AFRICOM) chief, appeared before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in March this year, he withheld information about six US bases in Africa. The paper says that it has had privileged access to “AFRICOM’s secret 2022 theater posture plan” and quotes “a U.S. official with knowledge of AFRICOM’s current footprint on the continent” as confirming that “20 bases are still in operation.” Among those are six “contingency locations” – officially described as locations that, “when needed and with the permission of the partner country, can be used by U.S. personnel to support a wide range of contingencies.”

The Intercept says that while the US military has often claimed that contingency locations are “little more than spartan staging areas”, the joint chiefs of staff themselves have confirmed that “such bases are critical to sustaining operations and may even be ‘semi-permanent’.”

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