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US Deploying Troops to 35 African Nations

The headline for this story, at Current is Growing The Empire. US Deploying Troops To 35 African Countries.

Of course the DC spin is that this is all about “training” troops of these nations. No doubt training will occur. Maybe that will be all. Maybe it’s just another start.

From NPR:

An Army brigade from Fort Riley, Kan., some 4,000, soldiers, will begin helping to train African militaries. The idea is to help African troops beat back a growing terrorist threat posed by al-Qaida.

The American troops will head over in small teams over the course of the next year. The Dagger Brigade returned to Kansas last year from a deployment to Iraq, where it trained and advised that country’s security forces. …

The brigade is expected to deploy in small teams beginning next spring throughout Africa. The soldiers will take part in military exercises and train African troops on everything from logistics and marksmanship to medical care.

According to “top American commander for Africa, Gen. Carter Ham,” U.S. Green Berets have “trained African troops” before now, but “this new effort is more comprehensive, and necessary given emerging security threats on the continent.” Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is quoted in the NPR article, regarding security threats:

‘Particularly the spread of terrorism you have al-Qaida’s local franchise in Africa controlling two thirds of that country right now.’

And to counter that terrorist threat, the Obama administration wants to rely on African forces. That means giving them proper equipment and training, and that’s where the troops from Fort Riley come in.

Downie emphasized terrorism as a “symptom of a lot of other problems that really the military is not the best organization to solve.”

According to NPR, the

… Dagger Brigade will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries. Some of those efforts by the Army teams will last a few days, others a month or more.

These soldiers will not be allowed to take part in combat missions with African forces. That would require high-level Pentagon approval.

An AP report :

‘If they want them for (military) operations, the brigade is our first sourcing solution because they’re prepared,’ said Gen. David Rodriguez, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command. ‘But that has to go back to the secretary of defense to get an execute order.’ …

Rodriguez said the nearly 100 assignments so far requested by Ham will be carried out with ‘a very small footprint to get the high payoff.’

(DOD Emblem via DOD)

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8 Responses to US Deploying Troops to 35 African Nations

  1. oleeb December 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    The US has only recently turned it’s gaze toward Africa as the Chinese have been buying up all the natural resources they can on the continent: not just oil. The imperial ring they are attempting to create around China without calling it containment seems quite clear. The sad thing is that it is all fear based and relies ultimately on military superiority. The Chinese, who love the long game, know the US cannot stustain it’s imperial ambitions much longer and that is why the continue to lend money to the US for that purpose. At some point, perhaps in 20-30 years, the US will no longer be able to continue borrowing to support the vast imperial outposts it is establishing and it will be in no position to bully China militarily outside of the western hemisphere.

  2. Cujo359 December 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    start quote:

    These soldiers will not be allowed to take part in combat missions with African forces. That would require high-level Pentagon approval.

    end quote

    Yes, they’re just advisers. You know, like in Vietnam once upon a time…

    A few years ago, some PBS series (Frontline?) aired a report about all the places U.S. military trainers and special ops folks were working. It was a long list even then, and IIRC, it was at the height of our Iraq effort. I seem to recall saying to myself “Where the hell is that?” once or twice.

  3. fangio December 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I don’t really see what the problem is? We need to do something with ourselves, what else do we have left?

  4. TPAZ December 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    “These soldiers will not be allowed to take part in combat missions with African forces. That would require high-level Pentagon approval.”

    Until one is fired upon and killed. Then…

  5. ladywalker68 December 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Well, I didn’t see this one coming. My bad. WTF?

  6. TPAZ December 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    This guarantees the first Hispanic POTUS for 2016. We should have deployed U.S. soldiers in central and south America years ago. There is no downside to expanding the empire throughout the third world if the POTUS is one of their own. Who is going to protest?

  7. DaGoat December 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    35 potential Vietnams. What could go wrong?

  8. spincitysd December 28, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    This is AfriCom justifying it’s existence. Stood up in 2006, it is embarrassingly headquartered in Germany. No African nation wanted to be the host country, which shows you how toxic this command is.

    But now the command has managed to get its toe in the door, yippee. I am not a happy camper as there are at least three really good candidates for Imperial over-reach.

    Mali is a soup sandwich, a former French Colonial possession has a had a civilian-military collapse that resulted in the North of the country being taken over by Salafalist Jihadis with a big crush on Al Queda. Our lovely mucking about in Libya helped tons of arms to slosh around northern Mali and fall into the hands of Berbers, Salafis, and garden variety bad guys. The military instead of imposing order in the North, has instead played musical chairs with the government of Mali. The giant sucking sound coming from Mali will soon draw in regional power Algeria in to the malstrom. And with Algeria involved, can some of those happy few, a small portions of the 4,000 be far behind?

    Next up, the Central African Republic. Stability has never been associated with this former French Colony. At one time it was the Central African Empire, lead by an Opera Buffa leader with delusions of adequacy. But the kleptocratic clown prince got a little uppity with the French leader of the time, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and was offered a carrer change by the French Foreign Legion.

    But France is getting tiered of intervening in the affairs of its former colonies and is giving the lastest coup rumors a miss. The government is still hopelessly corrupt, and hopelessly unstable, offering yet another void to be filled. Rebels are advancing toward the capital and government troops are dissolving like a snowman dropped off in the Sahara. I can not see how the NeoCons can resist the opportunity to “nation build” in this little slice of heaven.

    And how can I sign off without talking about King Leopold’s gift to chaos and confusion. Utterly abused, utterly maimed, utterly ruined, somehow the Congo keeps existing. It is still the heart of darkness and it still is an ungovernable mess. Loaded to the gills with natural resources and cursed with utterly evil men determined on a course of rapine toward those resources, the nation suffers and bleeds. The DRC is the crown jewel of Africa, and I can see out happy warriors in DC making the lives of the people there even more unbearable. Since the DRC is so big it can swallow up four thousand US troops for a light snack, consider whatever troops go there a initial installment for a much bigger bill down the line.

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