Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Exclusive: The U.S. has more military operations in Africa than the Middle East – VICE News

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2018

We are from the government and are here to help. Endlessly.

By Nick Turse

The deadly ambush in Niger last October that left four U.S. serviceman dead prompted months of hand-wringing inside the Pentagon. But that botched operation, which drew national attention to U.S. counterterror operations throughout Africa should not have shocked military leadership, the former commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in Africa told VICE News.

“These weren’t the first casualties, either. We had them in Somalia and Kenya,” said retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, who served as commander of Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) from April 2015 to June 2017, in an interview with VICE News. “We had them in Tunisia. We had them in Mali. We had them in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad. But those were kept as quiet as possible. Nobody talked about it.”

Indeed, two separate military efforts — named Juniper Shield and Obsidian Nomad — that were set to intersect but failed to on the night of the deadly ambush near Tongo Tongo in Niger were part of a pattern of expansion on the African continent that has made it the most active U.S. military theatre in the world. The United States has conducted more than 30 named operations and activities in Africa over the last three years, according to documents obtained by VICE News. While more troops are deployed to, and engaged in combat in, the Greater Middle East, the sheer number of named efforts in Africa actually surpasses that region…

In 2017, U.S. troops carried out an average of nearly 10 missions per day —3,500 exercises, programs, and engagements for the year — across the African continent, according to Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the AFRICOM commander.

These efforts — carried out in at least 33 countries — range from capture-or-kill commando raids to more banal training missions. Americans are also gathering intelligence, involved in surveillance and reconnaissance missions carried out by drones, engaged in construction projects, and accompanying allies on tactical operations.

There are also now 34 U.S. military outposts on the continent, concentrated in the north and west and the Horn of Africa, according to a recent report by The Intercept.

US operations Africa

This March 2018 briefing authored by Africa Command Science Advisor Peter Teil outlines current U.S. military operations throughout the African continent. (Nick Turse for VICE News).

Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), AFRICOM provided VICE News with a list of 21 named operations conducted between January 1, 2016 and September 25, 2018. According to a separate March 2018 briefing, authored by Africa Command Science Advisor Peter Teil and also obtained via FOIA, eight current operations in North and West Africa were aimed at countering the Islamic State and Boko Haram and assisting local allies and French counterterrorism efforts. Six operations in East Africa focused on defeating al Shabaab, assisting the African Union Mission in Somalia, and counter-piracy. Two theater-wide efforts focused on crisis response in the event U.S. government personnel or facilities are threatened, while one operation — Echo Casemate — provides support to French and U.N. forces in the troubled Central African Republic…

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endless war



One Response to “Exclusive: The U.S. has more military operations in Africa than the Middle East – VICE News”

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