December 27, 2002 The Pentagon opens a new anti-terrorism base in the nation of Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. Military commanders say the mission is to "track down and root out" terrorists hiding in lawless stretches along the northeast African coast. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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December 25, 2002 Christmas means church services, special meals and extra refreshments for U.S. troops at Camp Le Monier in the East African nation of Djibouti. It's a brief break from their mission, which is to search for al Qaeda operatives in the Horn of Africa. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
December 25, 2002 The bells of St. Peter's, a blow-up tree and a tiny, mean Santa. These are a few of the Christmas traditions you'll hear about on a Talk of the Nation yuletide tour around the world. Guests: Emily Harris, NPR's correspondent in Berlin. James Dalmida, from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Eric Westervelt, NPR's national security correspondent, from Djibouti. Guy Raz, NPR's correspondent in London. Jason Beaubien, NPR's correspondent in Africa, calling from Kenya. Sylvia Popoli from Venezuela. That's Popoli, NOT NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. Ingen Kyrkjebo, from Norway.
December 23, 2002 An Iraqi warplane shoots down a U.S. surveillance drone in southern Iraq. Meanwhile, U.N. inspectors interview Iraqi scientists about evidence that Iraq has a nuclear weapons program, and the Pentagon continues a deliberate and steady force build-up near Iraq's borders. Hear NPR's Eric Westervelt.
December 20, 2002 U.S. forces training in the Kuwaiti desert are paying special attention to equipment and proceedures designed to protect them from chemical or biological weapons. The military exercises, just a few miles from the Iraq border, take place in conditions similar to those troops would face in Iraq if the United States attacks that country. If there is a war, American military planners assume Saddam Hussein would unleash chemical and/or biological weapons. American forces are trained to "fight dirty," to keep on fighting after a chem-bio attack, even as the affected troops are being decontaminated. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
December 17, 2002 Some veterans of the Persian Gulf War return to the desert of northern Kuwait for war games. They say they're apprehensive, but ready for an invasion of Iraq. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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December 12, 2002 NPR's Eric Westervelt in Doha reports on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's day-long visit a U.S. military base in Qatar that could serve as the major command and control center for an eventual war in Iraq.
December 10, 2002 U.S. military commanders begin a virtual war game in Qatar, but the Pentagon says the exercise is not linked to a possible strike on Iraq. Meanwhile, residents in Qatar express concern about a possible war in the Gulf region. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
December 9, 2002 The U.S. military begins a weeklong exercise to test its new command-and-control headquarters in Qatar. The center would link combat units, warships and planes and potentially serve as a regional command post for any war with Iraq. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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November 24, 2002 The Pentagon puts journalists through a sort of basic training for covering a possible war in Iraq. Steve Inskeep talks with NPR's Eric Westervelt about the experience.
November 14, 2002 The U.S. Army upgrades gear worn to guard against chemical and biological weapons. The suits are lighter and easier to use than those of the Gulf War era. But they're still bulky and hot. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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November 8, 2002 The future of military air power may lie in unmanned "drones" that can see through walls, and missiles that have their own motors and wings. But the U.S. Air Force says it's only beginning to tap the potential of precision weaponry. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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November 6, 2002 A U.S.-based human rights group accuses the United States of supporting a governor in western Afghanistan who allegedly has ordered political arrests and torture of detainees. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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November 4, 2002 For the first time, the United States prepares to deploy the B-2 stealth bomber from overseas bases. Analysts say the forward deployment will likely help the Air Force blow up more targets more efficiently if there is war in Iraq. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
October 29, 2002 The Pentagon confirms it has about 800 troops operating in the Horn of Africa region as part of the war on terrorism. Meanwhile, several prisoners are released from Guantanamo Bay. Hear NPR's Eric Westervelt and David Rohde of The New York Times.
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