You dropped a bomb on me, Congressman

It’s good to have defense news announced by a member of Congress during a press conference, unless it is “blurted” by John Murtha (D-Pa.).

Take cover!

The senior statesman who seems to be the one to watch for his “what-will-he-say-next” quotient, backhandedly announced the Oct. 1 start-up of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) during remarks in which he expressed concern over China’s strong foray into the continent. While chastising the U.S. for its failures in the region, he used the new command as a pawn to underscore supposed U.S. shortcomings, plainly stating that AFRICOM sat in Stuttgart, Germany, because not one African nation would host the command.

Not one? Wow. Makes you want to toss any Lee Greenwood recordings until you realize that Murtha’s bomb was a dirty one.


It seems the plan has been to station the new command, which takes over duties from EUCOM, PACOM and CENTCOM, in Stuttgart probably at least until it becomes “fully established as a separate unified command” sometime in the next year and after it is responsible for U.S. military relations with all African nations. This probably will take some time, because it’s a big place with more than 50 countries. But the command is not without controversy, and reports indicate some African nations are concerned about the possible militarization of relations with the U.S., Liberia, and Ethiopia (and maybe others) reportedly have offered to host U.S. Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward and company. Other nations are waiting to see more before they make any commitments.

And Murtha? Firing for effect? The “blurt watch” continues.

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