by Nick Turse
. . . Since 9/11, the U.S. military has been ramping up missions on the African
continent, funneling money into projects to woo allies, supporting and training proxy
forces, conducting humanitarian outreach, carrying out air strikes and commando raids,
creating a sophisticated logistics network throughout the region, and building a string
of camps, "cooperative security locations," and bases-by-other-names.
All the while, AFRICOM downplayed the expansion and much of the media, with a few
notable exceptions, played along. With the end of the Iraq War and the drawdown of
combat forces in Afghanistan, Washington has, however, visibly "pivoted" to Africa and,
in recent weeks, many news organizations, especially those devoted to the military, have
begun waking up to the new normal there.
While daily U.S. troop strength continent-wide hovers in the relatively modest range of
5,000 to 8,000 personnel, an under-the-radar expansion has been constant, with the U.S.
military now conducting operations alongside almost every African military in almost
every African country and averaging more than a mission a day. . . .
"The New Scramble For Africa: The Crown
Jewels," The Wisdom Fund, October 20, 2011
Jean Herskovits, "In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not
the Problem," New York Times, January 2, 2012
Blows Call On AFRICOM," firedoglake.com, June 17, 2014
Nick Turse, "Hushed Pentagon
Investigation Slaps U.S. Africa Command's Humanitarian Activities," tomdispatch.com,
September 7, 2014