The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was originally conceived of as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).
Its area of responsibility includes countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Gulf War, the United States war in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Forces from CENTCOM currently are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, and central Asia in support roles. CENTCOM forces have also been deployed in Jordan, and Saudi Arabia in the past, although no substantial forces are based in those countries as of 2009. CENTCOM is now also involved with the air 'campaign' against Libya.
The biggest reason for CENTCOM is because through a 20 mile wide passage through the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden, roughly 300 million barrels of oil are transported every day aiming for the Suez Canal in one direction or the Indian Ocean the other.
The White House said:
"[AFRICOM] will strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa. Africa Command will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security [as of 3 July, 2011, the U.S. has flown a total of 3,475 bombing sorties over Libya] to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth in Africa."
Under the Bush administration, The Group of Eight (G8) nations created a 'global peacekeeping' [and without 'terrorism' there can be no 'peacekeeping'] force after CENTCOM was in place since 1983. Ostensibly centered in Africa, this 'peacekeeping force' would eventually be also tasked as a global peacekeeping force. The following Reuters article describes this G8 peacekeeping force:
This article below in the Economist dated July, 31, 2008, gives a clear indication of construction plans for a bridge called the Bridge of the Horns, to link both Yemen and Djibouti estimated to run approximately $20 billion and is expected to be completed around 2020. This massive construction project to link the Horn of Africa with Yemen, is being planned by the Noor City Development Corporation. When reading the Economist article, it becomes apparent who some of the backers of the Noor City and Bridge of the Horn project actually are.
G8 seeks to help create world peacekeeping force
The Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations intends to help create a global peacekeeping force of more than 50,000 people over the next five to six years, senior US officials have said.
The two officials, briefing reporters at the G8 summit, said the initiative grew out of African requests for assistance in ending the wars that plague the continent.
"The centerpiece of this initiative will be a pledge by the G8 countries to train a certain number, we hope well in excess of 50,000 peacekeepers around the world, but beginning in Africa, over the next five or six years," said one of the officials, who spoke on condition that they not be identified.
"And it really is sort of unique — it's the first time the G8 has taken on a specific —a pledge like this, and has said we are going to train this number of peacekeepers over this time frame, and we're going to seek to equip them, and we're going to seek to help them get to where they want to be."
"Security is a necessary condition for all the reforms and progress that we hope to promote around the world ... It's not for a lack of willingness that African nations and other nations are unable to sometimes deal with the peace support operations that they find themselves charged with."
They said that although the initiative would be launched in Africa, where the need was greatest, its scope was global. "The idea is to train peacekeepers and equip them and enable them to get to where they're needed all over the world," one official said.
When this bridge is completed, it will link two key geographical southern locations of the US's CENTCOM. The Bridge of the Horns will also connect two planned cities to be called the Al Noor Cities. This huge planned arterial bridge to span over the Red Sea in an area called the Bab el Mandeb. One Al-Noor city will be placed in Yemen in an area of 580 square miles, and another city will be located in Djibouti on 390 square miles. The twin cities of Al Noor will be linked together the Bridge of the Horns.
Can it really be bridged?
A fantastic plan to span the Red Sea’s troubled waters is raising eyebrows
Jul 31st 2008 | DJIBOUTI AND DUBAI
One of Osama bin Laden’s many half-brothers, Tarek bin Laden, this week signed a deal with tiny Djibouti which may—or may not—mark the start of one of the world’s boldest engineering projects. Djibouti’s president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, promised Mr. bin Laden 500 sq km (193 sq miles) of land to start building Noor City, the first of a hundred “Cities of Light” the vast Saudi Binladen Group plans around the world. “A hope for all humanity, the first environmental city of the 21st century,” gushed the promotional video at the signing. The audience, mostly American military contractors near retirement age, clapped enthusiastically. Engineers elsewhere say the scheme is a fantasy.
their front man, Muhammad Ahmed al-Ahmed, a Saudi former shipping executive, say they have already invested “hundreds of millions of dollars” in a plan to build cities on either side of the Bab al-Mandib (Gate of Tears) strait at the foot of the Red Sea. Construction is supposed to begin next year, after the terms of sovereignty for the tax-free metropolises have been agreed.
Mr. Ahmed brushed aside any worry about instability in Yemen, where an al-Qaeda suicide bombing on July 26th targeted the country’s police. Yet at the last moment Yemen’s government refused visas to journalists traveling with Mr bin Laden.
Mr. Ahmed has worked for DynCorp, an American military contractor. So had one of the project’s main managers, Michel Vachon, before moving to L3 Communications, a contractor often employed by the American government. Another manager, Dean Kershaw, spent 29 years in America’s forces; some others had served in the Bush administration. Armed American special-forces veterans now apparently employed as security guards by L3 chaperoned journalists. All part of an American plan to help secure the Suez shipping lane or to strengthen the hand of friendly forces in Yemen? “Absolutely not,” said Mr Kershaw. “The [American] government has vetted us, but they’re not behind us.”
Whatever the reality, the presence of arms manufacturers in the consortium, including Allied Defense Systems and Lockheed Martin, will fuel conspiracy theories among Arabs. Mr. Ahmed says investors in Djibouti’s Noor City have the chance to “be part of modern humanity” by creating the “financial, educational, and medical hub of Africa”. Africans may wonder why the hub is not being built in a bit of Africa where more Africans live and which has food and water.
Here is the promotional video for the construction of the Bridge of the Horns:
The Bridge of the Horns is a proposed construction project to build a bridge between the coasts of Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It will be constructed by Noor City Development Corporation. The notice-to-proceed was issued by Middle East Development LLC, which is headed by Tarek bin Laden. [half brother of Osama bin Laden]
The length of the bridge is estimated at 29 km (18 mi), with a total cost of around US$20 billion. It has been proposed by a Dubai-based firm headed by Tarek bin Laden. Opening date is expected to be in the year 2020.
To clear submarine and surface vessels, the proposed bridge will have the longest suspension span in the world measuring 3.1 miles. The overall length of the entire bridge spanning the Red Sea, starting in Yemen, connecting to the island of Perim, and continuing on to Djibouti on the African continent, is expected to be roughly 28.5 km (18 miles). It must allow very large ships of the Suezmax size in both directions simultaneously.
Two twin cities, referred to as Al Noor City, will be built on either end of the bridge; the prospective site’s developers indicate that they will run on renewable energy. On the Djibouti side, President Ismael Omar Guelleh has granted 500 km2 (193 sq miles) to build Noor City, the first of the hundreds of Cities of Light the Saudi Binladen Group envisions building. The developers state that they expect Noor City to have 2.5 million residents by 2025, and the Yemeni twin city to have 4.5 million, while they envision a new airport serving both cities at a capacity of 100 million passengers annually.
A new highway connecting the cities to Dubai is proposed, though there are no plans for roads to connect sparsely populated Djibouti with the population centers of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia or Khartoum in Sudan. The Economist magazine, noting that developers state that the project will make Noor City the “financial, educational, and medical hub of Africa”, commented, “Africans may wonder why the hub is not being built in a bit of Africa where more Africans live and which has food and water.”
One of the biggest questions concerning the money to build such massive projects is where does the huge investment funds come from? Take a look at what are called 'Sovereign Wealth Funds' (SWF); money invested by governments for profit. SWF funds always seem to find their way into countries where there are always vast numbers of people who are starving and who do not have a high local level of self-development capital. It come as no surprise then, that the IMF is in Yemen concluding or working on major financial and monetary reforms, including floating the currency, reducing the budget deficit, and cutting subsidies. Other IMF plans will address structural issues such as civil service reform, economic, financial and administrative reform program (EFARP) with the support of the World Bank.
It is unlikely the vast majority of people living in Yemen and Djibouti will benefit from this massive influx of SWF investments since profits from essentially oil [it was the Hunt brothers who set up their oil operations first in Yemen, in fact, George Bush was in Yemen marking the celebrations when the oil wells were opened] and commodities are returned to respective government 'investors' and private equity groups like the Blackstone Group mentioned below. These massive SWF assets will be invested in this construction project for pennies on the dollar which most of the dirt poor in those countries will hardly benefit from, unless of course it is to develop 'terrorist' networks especially in Yemen, i.e., al Qeada to in turn increase CENTCOMS increasing military presence in the area. The investments will increase as the 'security situation' improves is the official explanation.
Sovereign Wealth Funds
Creating funds to manage government wealth is not a new phenomenon. But over the past five years, wealth accumulated in existing funds has fluctuated significantly and the number of new funds has spiked. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in September 2007 that sovereign wealth funds, or SWFs, control as much as $3 trillion, and that this tally could jump to $12 trillion by 2012--though the total amount held by SWFs declined significantly during the market turmoil and commodity-price bust of late 2008. Economists and political analysts say SWFs merit analysis for several reasons. Some argue that these funds will help nations dependent on natural resources to diversify their economies, but others worry about abuses of power and urge greater transparency at SWFs.
What are sovereign wealth funds?
Sovereign wealth funds, as defined by the U.S. treasury (PDF), are government investment funds, funded by foreign currency reserves but managed separately from official currency reserves. Basically, they are pools of money governments invest for profit. Often this money is used to invest in foreign companies. For instance, China's SWF purchased stakes in the U.S. financial firms Morgan Stanley and the Blackstone Group in late 2007. Dubai's SWF has bought up shares of several Asian companies, including Sony.