New Drone Base in Niger Builds U.S. Presence in Africa by E. Schmitt and S. Sayare The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/world/africa/in-niger-us-troops-set-up-drone-base.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130223&_r=0
WASHINGTON — Opening a new front in the drone wars against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, President Obama announced on Friday that about 100 American troops had been sent to Niger in West Africa to help set up a new base from which unarmed Predator aircraft would conduct surveillance in the region.
The new drone base, located for now in the capital, Niamey, is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali, where insurgents had taken over half the country until repelled by a French-led force.... [end]
Majia here: This is not about 'terrorism.' This is about the US, France, and other European powers guaranteeing access to African resources, including uranium, oil, and rare earths.
The US and Europe CREATE the very terrorists they fight through exploitative colonial policies.
Drones are the new repressive apparatus and before we know it they will be policing American skies as well.
Don't think for a moment that the repressive fascistic state values your life any more than it values a life of an Aghani, Pakistani, or Nigerian child.
Drones are the instruments of the fascistic 21st century imperial state:
Death Toll From Drone Strikes Put at 4,700 By Spencer Ackerman, Wired 21 February 13
[Excerpted] Graham's death count would raise questions about the much-vaunted precision of the strikes. Using the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's count, the U.S. has launched between 416 and 439 drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia since the U.S. first successfully weaponized an MQ-1 Predator a decade ago. If Graham's right, each strike would have to kill more than 10 people. It's certainly possible - the 100-pound Hellfire missile carried by the drones is capable of it - but U.S. counterterrorism officials typically describe the drones as a tool geared for the targeting of a specific terrorist at a time, with minimal civilian casualties. (That isn't necessarily the case: Sometimes the CIA kills people with drones without knowing who exactly they are.)
Yet Graham's count is simultaneously low. Judging from the context of his remarks, he's evidently not counting the U.S. military's drone strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the real number of deaths from the strikes between the covert CIA drone program and the U.S. military's still rarely acknowledged efforts is likely even higher.