Remember, back in 2007, when I wrote the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa piece for Esquire ("The Americans have landed"). I spoke o f two dozen little forts around Africa by 2012. Well, WAPO reports a good dozen or so mini-facilities used to fly surveillance missions - along with plenty of contractors. Add those to the package of forward operating bases operated by AFRICOM and we are getting up there, my friends.
No, none of these equals a Fort Bragg. As I said in my media appearances surrounding the piece, we're talking ATMs, not full-up bank branches.
But the network is growing - pretty much on the sked I laid out back then.
Africom's animating spirit began with CJTF-HOA, which was basically a picket line established to catch bad actors migrating from SWA to Africa. First it was naval, then it went on land, then it became a COCOM.
And COCOMs naturally grow. They take about 20 years to mature (check out CENTCOM's history).
Good strategic projecting means there are no surprises - just things you've been waiting on and imagining for years.