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—The United States has been working away at facilities at Thebephatshwa air base inside Botswana, the country most strategically situated with respect to South Africa and several other Southern African countries. More particularly, it is situated just west of Molepolole, itself some miles west of the capital of Gaberone.  The capitals of South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho are all within about 600 miles of that base, and important parts of Malawi, Congo and Angola are within 1000 miles. One wonders whether President Trump knows this.

What the United States wishes to do there, I do not know. However, it certainly is interesting, considering the increasingly unstable situation in South Africa. Under its ANC ruling party and new president Cyril Ramaphosa it is rapidly morphing into the Democratic People’s Republic of Azania, a haven for racist socialism, hell bent on emulating Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and its original teacher, the U.S.S.R. This very day an ANC Government Commission adopted a resolution that Section 25 of the Constitution be amended to allow expropriation without compensation of (read “white-owned”) property.

Botswana, on the other hand, can realistically be considered the most stable, Western oriented, and pragmatic country in Africa. It has, for practical puprposes, a population belonging to a single tribe or nation, the ba’Tswana. That explains the stability. The majority of the ba’Tswana, however, live in South Africa. Yes, you heard right:  they already have their own HUGE country of which the border with South Africa was settled in the late 1800s. In fact, three times as many Tswana people live in South Africa as in Botswana. Go figure!

Americans may feel entirely free to scratch their heads, because their teacher and CNN never told them that. Then again, what mindless idiot trusts CNN to be informative?

Oh yes, and those aircraft in the first image?:- Vietnam Era Northrop F-5A “Freedom Fighters”. The United States exported quite a few of those. I do not know where the Botswana Defence Force got theirs.

As to the official US position, as stated by American Deputy Ambassador to Gaborone, Michael Murphy:

The United States, working with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), has contracted the construction of facilities to support future, mutually-agreed bilateral and multilateral exercises at Thebephatshwa Airbase, Molepolole, Botswana. We are not constructing a U.S. military base, and we are not planning to relocate AFRICOM headquarters to Botswana.This project, a direct result of Botswana hosting Exercise SOUTHERN ACCORD in August 2012, underscores the close and ongoing partnership between the BDF and United States.

He added that the construction block consists of administration, instructional and latrine facilities. “These particular facilities were chosen so that if Botswana and the United States agreed to a future exercise at Thebephatshwa, the exercise will not disrupt normal BDF operations,” he said.

This is not the first American presence at the base. The US DoD was there in 2006, as may be seen from the photo on the left. For those unfamiliar with military uniforms of the world, the American general would be the gentleman on the left, Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward, U.S. European Command deputy at the time.

For Americans, the pronounciation is Te-be-Putsh-wah, with the “e” pronounced as in “ten” and the “u” as in “hunt”.

So, while I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of Americans who know where Botswana is, at least the other 330 million may hereby rest assured that their military will have latrines in case nature calls.

As to where it is located, the map below might help. One cannot really get more central than that in Southern Africa and still have a tarred (blacktop) road.

Somehow, the erection of latrines is always the first item at a military base. Been there, done that!

Harry Booyens

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