By JYOTHI NATARAJAN

AfghanistanMapSmall

The Hidden World of U.S. Military Bases in Afghanistan

A report published in TomDispatch.com in early February revealed that there are now 400 U.S. and NATO military bases in Afghanistan and another 300 Afghan military bases, which are supported by the United States. These 700 bases range in size and cost billions of dollars to operate. By contrast, there are only 440 military bases in the United States.

New U.S. Attack on Afghanistan

Photo: UK Forces Media Ops Team

Photo: UK Forces Media Ops Team

On February 12, 2010, the United States launched one of the largest military attacks of the war in Afghanistan. More than 15,000 U.S. and NATO troops invaded the Taliban-controlled Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

A total of 28 civilians (non-military people) were killed as a result of the attack, including 13 children. The Italian humanitarian organization, Emergency, has reported that many injured civilians are not able to reach the nearest hospital due to U.S. military blockades.

Fuzzy Line

Photo: ARLO K. ABRAHAMSON

Photo: Arlo K. Abrahamson

The 1500-mile-long border that separates Afghanistan and Pakistan (called the Durand Line) was established by the British in 1893 but has never been recognized as an international border by the government of Afghanistan. Violence has increased on both sides of this border following the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

DEFINITIONS

NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A U.S.-led military alliance.

Taliban: A strict Islamic group that controlled Afghanistan from 1996-2001. President Obama accuses this group of threatening U.S. security.

Photo: United States Air Force

Photo: United States Air Force