Right now, across Africa, the U.S. military is providing massive amounts of military technology, hardware, training and expertise to local African militaries and police forces. The continent is home to an “extensive archipelago of African outposts,” including U.S. military bases, camps, compounds, port facilities, and “cooperative security locations.” U.S. special operations forces have been deployed to track local insurgents across the African Sahel region. Drone strikes to kill terrorist targets have increased substantially (67 into Somalia since 2007, and 125 in Yemen in 2017 alone), causing hundreds of civilian casualties. African and U.S. forces have conducted joint military exercises across the continent.
This expansion is the unsurprising result of the military’s emerging focus on Africa, inaugurated with the 2007 creation of AFRICOM. Perhaps this concentration reveals more about the fears of unknowability and criminality that continue to underlie U.S. views of that continent, rather than representing an effective military strategy to combat terrorism.
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