Cooperative Security Location

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A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a U.S. military term for facilities used for regional training in counterterrorism and interdiction of drug trafficking, and also to provide contingency access to continental areas. "A CSL is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S. personnel presence, which may contain pre-positioned equipment and/or logistical arrangements and serve both for security cooperation activities and contingency access."[1] These sites were established as the Pentagon began to address regional threats primarily in Africa and Latin America following its 2004 global posture review.[2] They are sometimes referred to as "lily pads".[3] The establishment of such bases has accelerated under the Obama administration, especially with the pivot to the Asia Pacific region and increased operations in Africa.[4]

A CSL is differentiated from a Forward Operating Site (FOS) with a small permanent force or contractor personnel, or a Main Operating Base (MOB), with a large force and a well-defended site.

Canada has established operational support hubs that operate in a similar fashion and can be reached by Canada's fleet of C-17 cargo aircraft.[5]

Latin American and Caribbean CSLs[edit]

In 2004, the United States began consideration of four sites for CSLs in the Latin American region:[6]

African CSLs[edit]

These sites were created while Africa was in the region covered by United States European Command. With the creation of the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in 2007, these CSL locations in Africa were transferred to the new command.

They include, but are not limited to:[3]


  1. ^ "Strategic Theater Transformation". United States European Command. 2005-01-14. Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  2. ^ "U.S. European Command Statement Following President Bush's Remarks Addressing Global Posture". United States European Command. 2004-08-16. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Presence, Not Permanence". United States Air Force. August 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  4. ^ Vine, David. "The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire". The Huffington Post, 16 July 2012.
  5. ^ Berthiaume, Lee. "New military outposts key to more overseas missions". Postmedia Network, 19 July 2012.
  6. ^ "U.S. Military Bases in Latin America and the Caribbean". Foreign Policy in Focus. August 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2007-02-07.