Saturday, April 27, 2013

US Marines to Spain

US Marines to Spain, The Spanish government has approved the deployment of 500 U.S. Marines and eight aircrafts to a military base in Morón de la Frontera, a town in Seville province. Use of the base has been granted for one year to what is a new crisis-response team intended to respond to threats against U.S. citizens, government personnel or installations in northwestern Africa.

Spain has agreed to similar temporary deployments in the past, such as in 2011 when 45 U.S. aircraft were stationed at two airbases. Authorization for the move is reportedly legitimized by a 1988 defense cooperation agreement between Spain and the U.S..

The move comes days after a car bomb exploded outside of the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya, collapsing one of its walls and wounding four.

In September 2012, a U.S. diplomatic compound came under siege in Benghazi. Four Americans, including then-Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the attack. In December 2012, the Pentagon announced the creation of the "Dagger Brigade", a unit of 3,500 combat troops to be deployed to up to 35 African nations for the purposes of training local forces.  Now, this unit will be required to be airborne within six hours of receiving orders, providing the kind of quick-response capability that the Pentagon says was lacking when the Benghazi compound was attacked.

A report on Benghazi, authored by five House GOP committee chairmen and submitted to Speaker John Boehner, said that the attack was the consequence of poor leadership on the part of the Obama administration, according to Foreign Policy. The Republicans wrote that the Department of Defense "was unable to provide an effective military response to the Benghazi attacks" because of "the lack of a coherent administration policy toward North Africa; an ad hoc and reactive administration strategy for addressing threats to U.S. interests in the region; a lack of resources for AFRICOM; and the short duration of the attack."

The team will be fully ready within 30 days and includes 225 Marines with capabilities in ground combat as well as intelligence and communications specialist tasks.  Another 225 will man and maintain the eight aircrafts. The Marine unit will be charged with protecting U.S. embassies and diplomatic compounds, U.S. citizens and downed pilots, and assisting other elements of the military in the event that American citizens need to be evacuated, according to CNN.

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