New Report Reveals US Special Forces Active In 22 African Countries

new-report-reveals-us-special-forces-active-in-22-african-countries

13-08-20 07:25:00,

Authored by Alan Macleod via Mint Press News,

The US has roughly 6,000 military personnel scattered throughout the continent with military attachés outnumbering diplomats in many embassies across Africa.

new report published in South African newspaper The Mail and Guardian has shed light on the opaque world of the American military presence in Africa. Last year, elite U.S. Special Operations forces were active in 22 African countries. This accounts for 14 percent of all American commandos deployed overseas, the largest number for any region besides the Middle East. American troops had also seen combat in 13 African nations.

The U.S. is not formally at war with an African nation, and the continent is barely discussed in reference to American exploits around the globe. Therefore, when U.S. operatives die in Africa, as happened in NigerMali, and Somalia in 2018, the response from the public, and even from the media is often “why are American soldiers there in the first place?”

The presence of the U.S. military, especially commandos, is rarely publicly acknowledged, either by Washington or by African governments. What they are doing remains even more opaque. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) generally claims that special forces go no further than so-called “AAA” (advise, assist and accompany) missions. Yet in combat, the role between observer and participant can become distinctly blurry.

The United States has roughly 6,000 military personnel scattered throughout the continent, with military attachés outnumbering diplomats in many embassies across Africa. Earlier this year, The Intercept reported that the military operates 29 bases on the continent. One of these is a huge drone hub in Niger, something The Hill called “the largest U.S. Air Force-led construction project of all time.” The construction cost alone was over $100 million, with total operating costs expected to top $280 billion by 2024. Equipped with Reaper drones, the U.S. can now conduct cross border bombing raids all over the North and West of Africa.

Washington claims that the military’s primary role in the region is to combat the rise of extremist forces.

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