US BUILDS A MILITARY BASE IN THE SAHARA DESERT: Construction has started on a base in Agadez, Niger. Camel caravans from Bilma still occasionally stop in Agadez. The air base has been billed as a “drone base.” Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, “drones”) will operate from the base. But this is more than a drone base. Agadez will support US, host nation and US allies intelligence and logistical operations. The base could support multi-national peacekeeping efforts in the region (think Mali). Key quote from Jim Dunnigan’s detailed analysis of the politics, the security issues and the technology: “Agadez is closer to Chad, southern Libya and Nigeria, where American aerial surveillance is more in demand by the local governments. Agadez will also apparently support armed UAVs as well. The U.S. will continue to supply intelligence obtained by the Niger-based UAVs with Niger and other nations in the area that have intelligence sharing agreements.”
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