US Military Pivots to Africa and the News Is Grim | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


US Military Pivots to Africa and the News Is Grim

U.S. Africa Command boasts that it “neutralizes transnational threats” and “prevents and mitigates conflict,” while training local allies and proxies “in order to promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.” Rodriguez’s tenure was, however, marked by the very opposite: increasing numbers of lethal terror attacks across the continent including those in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tunisia. In fact, data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland shows that attacks have spiked over the last decade, roughly coinciding with AFRICOM’s establishment. In 2007, just before it became an independent command, there were fewer than 400 such incidents annually in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, the number reached nearly 2,000.

While these statistics may be damning, they are no more so than the words of AFRICOM’s own chiefs. Yet the senators who are supposed to provide oversight haven’t seemed to bat an eye, let alone ask the obvious questions about why terror groups and terror attacks are proliferating as U.S. operations, bases, manpower, and engagement across the continent grow. (Note that this is, of course, the same Senate committee that Rodriguez misled, whether purposefully or inadvertently, earlier this year when it came to the number of U.S. military missions in Africa without – again – either apparent notice or any repercussions.)

In an era of too-big-to fail generals, an age in which top commanders from winless wars retire to take prominent posts at influential institutions and cash in with cushy jobs on corporate boards, AFRICOM chiefs have faced neither hard questions nor repercussions for the deteriorating situation. (Similar records – heavy on setbacks, short on victories – have been produced by Washington’s war chiefs in Afghanistan and Iraq for the past 15 years and they, too, have never led to official calls for any sort of accountability.)

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