Thursday, September 23, 2004

Empire is seeking "freedom of action": "The U.S. military is quietly expanding its network of small outposts worldwide to help fight terrorism in Middle Eastern and African hotspots, even as it prepares to send home tens of thousands of troops from Cold War bases in Germany and South Korea. Among the places the military already has placed or hopes to establish such new "lily pads" or jumping off points: Bulgaria and Romania in Eastern Europe; a pier in Singapore, Azerbaijan in Central Asia, and a tiny island off the oil-rich coast of West Africa. "Freedom of action," is a term the Pentagon uses to describe the flexibility it seeks, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is to brief senators on the plan Thursday."