Monopolizing War? What America Knows How to Do Best

On September 13, 2012 by stratagem

Source: Tom’s Dispatch

It’s pop-quiz time when it comes to the American way of war: three questions, torn from the latest news, just for you.  Here’s the first of them, and good luck!

Two weeks ago, 200 U.S. Marines began armed operations in…?:

a) Afghanistan
b) Pakistan
c) Iran
d) Somalia
e) Yemen
f) Central Africa
g) Northern Mali
h) The Philippines
i) Guatemala

If you opted for any answer, “a” through “h,” you took a reasonable shot at it.  After all, there’s an ongoing American war in Afghanistan and somewhere in the southern part of that country, 200 armed U.S. Marines could well have been involved in an operation.  In Pakistan, an undeclared, CIA-run air war has long been underway, and in the past there have been armed border crossings by U.S. special operations forces as well as U.S. piloted cross-border air strikes, but no Marines.

When it comes to Iran, Washington’s regional preparations for war are staggering.  The continual build-up of U.S. naval power in the Persian Gulf, of land forces on bases around that country, of air power (and anti-missile defenses) in the region should leave any observer breathless.  There are U.S. special operations forces near the Iranian border and CIA drones regularly over that country.  In conjunction with the Israelis, Washington has launched a cyberwar against Iran’s nuclear program and computer systems.  It has also established fierce oil and banking sanctions, and there seem to have been at least some U.S. cross-border operations into Iran going back to at least 2007.  In addition, a recent front-page New York Times story on Obama administration attempts to mollify Israel over its Iran policy included this ominous line: “The administration is also considering… covert activities that have been previously considered and rejected.”  So 200 armed Marines in action in Iran — not yet, but don’t get down on yourself, it was a good guess.

Read More: Tom’s Dispatch

 i) GuatemalaFYI: Operation Martillo: 200 US Marines deployed to Guatemala to combat cartels

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