US Setting Up Bases in Italy for Africa Raids

Libya, Somalia Seen as Main Focus of Attacks

US ambitions for more military operations in Africa have stalled with the struggles to piece together an African Command (AFRICOM) to lead such operations, and prospects for realignment suggest that AFRICOM may be folded outright.

But the ambitions haven’t changed, and the US has been building up its military deployments in Italy, particularly Sicily, with an eye on using the nation as a jumping off point for attacks on African nations.

200 Marines have recently been deployed to Sicily, for example, giving them a convenient way to raid Libya at any given time, and other deployments aimed at targeting Somalia.

Overall, there are now some 13,000 US troops on the ground in Italy, spanning 50 different sites. This is actually several times the overall size of AFRICOM, but reflects growing plans for US military operations, particularly in northern Africa.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of