The Sahel? That is Africa in case you were dashing for the Google button.
For years now the US has been in the region assisting local governments in their efforts to fight the specter of growing terrorism.
What got me thinking about our involvement in the Sahel was the announcement of a special envoy….
The United States has created a special envoy for Africa’s Sahel region, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, to counter rising violence from groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State which are expanding their foothold.
Envoy Peter Pham, started his new role earlier this week, the spokesman said. He has been serving as U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa since November 2018.
But are US troops necessary?
A Review of the necessity for US troops in the region is on-going…..
Facing skepticism from members of Congress about plans to alter force posture in Africa, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told members of the House Armed Services Committee that he remains committed to keeping U.S. forces on the continent.
“There are no plans to completely withdraw all forces from Africa,” Esper said Wednesday.
As part of a broader review of the force structure for the combatant commands, Esper has been considering moving forces out of U.S. Africa Command’s area of operations. Reports emerged at the end of 2019 that the department was looking at removing several hundred forces from Niger, Chad and Mali.
Why do we continue to fight and die in this region? I mean our so-called NATO allies are there as well then why not let them handle the hard lift in Africa?
For Washington’s foreign policy establishment, no nation is too unimportant to be considered vital to America’s security. No territory is too insignificant for the United States to dominate. No spot on earth is too distant to station an American soldier. How else to judge the hysterical criticism of the Trump administration’s proposed military drawdown in Africa?
Despite the fiscal crisis, strategic overreach, endless war, and political division, “the Blob,” as Washington’s foreign policy community is known, refuses to consider a world where Uncle Sam does not treat every region and nation as his personal sphere of interest. Washington is determined to protect more than a score of rich allies in Europe, multiple wealthy clients in Asia, and a gaggle of Middle Eastern nations.
Roughly seven thousand American personnel are stationed across Africa, primarily in Djibouti, Niger, and Somalia. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is considering rebalancing U.S. defense resources, shifting toward containment—not that he has used that word—of China and Russia. To advance that process, last fall the Pentagon asked each regional command for its resource needs. Explained Esper: “We’ve begun a review process where I’m looking at every theater, understanding what the requirements are that we set out for, making sure we’re as efficient as possible with our forces.”
Personally I say end this deployment of US troops…..we already have enough war in other spots why make a new one?
As the United States sensibly backs its military out of Afghanistan and considers drawing down the remaining 5,000 American troops in Iraq, it is time to review the expanded U.S. military presence in West and East Africa (~7,000 troops), particularly counterterror operations. Such a review was announced by Secretary of Defense Mike Esper in December 2019.
Our African deployments were practically invisible until October 2017, when four American soldiers died in an ambush in Niger. Suddenly Americans — including at least one U.S. Senator — realized that the U.S. military was in Africa getting the U.S. into deeper and deeper trouble.
It is time to pull back these forces. They reflect a militarization of U.S. foreign policy that has accelerated since 2001. Claims to the contrary, the military does not do these operations particularly well and there is growing evidence that they are counterproductive, generating more terrorists than they eliminate and exacerbating instability. They do nothing to counter Chinese or Russian influence in Africa, despite claims that they do. The threat they target is not a vital U.S. interest. In sum, by militarizing U.S. engagement in Africa, security assistance, training, and operations are harming U.S. security interests.
Time to end at least one armed conflict….I am sure that we will find another to replace the profits for the M-IC.
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“lego ergo scribo”