What is the US Doing in Africa?

The October 2017 deaths of four American soldiers in Niger caused many to ask why the United States had troops in the country, let alone troops engaging in ground operations. In November 2017 a fitness tracker service released a global heatmap of popular exercise routes, revealing fitness bracelet users running laps around remote airstrip locations across Africa. This leak inspired speculation about the locations of previously undisclosed U.S. military outposts, causing many to question why there appear to be so many troops in such vast distribution across the continent. At a time when the United States has announced simultaneous plans to draw back its military presence in the region, while broadening the CIA’s drone operations, the security aims and strategies are worth revisiting.

What Are They Doing and Where Are They Doing It?

The United States’ National Security Strategy explains the approach to Africa as mostly economic, focusing

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