The World is Pentagon's Oyster "Not only does one country account for the overwhelming plurality of world military expenditures, but that nation also has troops and bases on all six habitable continents (as well as a 54-year military mission in Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze) and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups and six navy fleets that roam the world's oceans and seas at will. It is also expanding a global interceptor missile system on land, on sea, in the air and into space that will leave it invulnerable to retaliation." On January 20, a changing of the guard occurred in the United States White House with two-term president George W. Bush being replaced by former freshman senator Barack Obama. Bush had continued the policies of his predecessor Bill Clinton in relation to the Balkans, Iraq and Latin America - with troops and a massive military base in Kosovo, regular bombings of Iraq and a monumental expansion of military aid to Colombia - and in addition launched two wars of his own, those against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq two years later. Obama, so thoroughly does U.S. polity predetermine individual administrations' policies, entered office by intensifying the deadly drone missile attacks in Pakistan begun by Bush in late 2008 and announced that he was doubling the number of American troops in Afghanistan. Already presiding over the world's largest military budget, officially 41.5% of world expenditures in 2008 and far larger with non-Defense Department spending factored in, in April the new president requested from Congress an additional $85 billion in supplemental funding for the war in Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq. U.S. lawmakers were more than accommodating and on July 24 Obama signed Iraq and Afghanistan War Supplemental Appropriations amounting to $106 billion. On October 28, he signed the $680 billion 2010 National Defense Authorization Act which includes another $130 billion to fund what his administration now calls overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the authorization of $106 billion in July, the last official supplemental appropriation for the wars, and $130 billion last month for Afghanistan and Iraq the combined official spending for both wars will exceed $1 trillion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2009 Year Book, total international military spending for 2008 was not much more than that: $1.464 trillion. Eight days after the authorization of the $680 billion Pentagon budget for next year, the New York Times reported that the top American military commander, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, said "he expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," with the newspaper estimating the size of the demand to be $50 billion.  Despite the Obama administration's pledge to the contrary, July's war supplement may not be the last one. It will simply be renamed an emergency appropriation. The first of many more to come. Not only does one country account for the overwhelming plurality of world military expenditures, but that nation also has troops and bases on all six habitable continents (as well as a 54-year military mission in Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze) and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups and six navy fleets that roam the world's oceans and seas at will. It is also expanding a global interceptor missile system on land, on sea, in the air and into space that will leave it invulnerable to retaliation. Reports from the first twelve days of November indicate the global scope of the first attempt in history by one nation to achieve uncontested worldwide military power. A survey of that period will trace recent trends across the globe with the alphabet as a compass. Afghanistan Any day now Washington may announce plans to add 40,000 or more troops to the 68,000 already there.  Plans are underway to accommodate that influx. The American military compound at and fanning out from the Bagram Air Field has been expanded from 3,993 to 5,198 acres since 2001 and is in the process of further enlargement. It already hosts some 25,000 U.S. troops and contractors and "a new parking ramp supporting the world's largest aircraft is to be completed this spring....t is continuing to grow to keep up with the requirements of an escalating war and troop increases."  Regarding non-military personnel at Bagram and elsewhere in the nation, "Contractors in Afghanistan outnumber U.S. troops there"  as they do in Iraq. The Army Times recently reported on the main purpose of the airbase at Bagram. Last month the number of U.S. and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan was the highest since July of 2008, with 647 bombs dropped in October compared to 752 a year ago July. "The airstrike numbers don’t include strafing runs, attacks by special operations AC-130 gunships, launches of small missiles or helicopter attacks."  Africa A U.S. Defense Department news source reported on November 5 that Air Forces Africa commanders visited Mali and Senegal in West Africa. Vice commander Michael Callan "visited Mali's 33d Parachute Regiment, a unit that carries out operations using tactical vehicles and communication equipment provided by the U.S. Defense and State Departments." The Malian military is involved in a counterinsurgency war in the nation's north aided by Washington. A commander of Mali's armed forces said, "Ninety-five percent of our soldiers were trained by the U.S, and we've engaged with you in exercises like Flintlock, Joint Planning and Assessment Teams and special bilateral training."  Flintlock military exercises have been held in different locations on the African continent for years, this year's being conducted by the new Africa Command (AFRICOM) for the first time. The U.S. also recently led multinational military exercises in Gabon and Uganda on both ends of the continent.  The USS San Juan, "a fast-attack submarine," arrived in South Africa on November 4, "setting the stage for a series of first-ever, at-sea engagements with the South African Navy submarine force."  Armenia Robert Simmons , NATO's special representative to the South Caucasus and Central Asia - former Senior Adviser to the United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs on NATO - was in this South Caucasus nation earlier this month and announced that he had recruited an initial contingent of Armenian troops for the war in Afghanistan. This marks the first deployment to that nation of soldiers from the Russian-led seven-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a potential counterbalance to NATO in post-Soviet space. "Simmons expressed NATO's 'appreciation to Armenia for its strong contributions' to alliance missions, which he said began in Kosovo and will now be repeated in Afghanistan."  In reference to his mission of pulling yet another Russian ally into the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization orbit, Simmons said, "We are continuing cooperation with the Armenian Defense Ministry. NATO assists the implementation of reforms and the development of strategically important documents."