Skip to comments.U.S. Military Builds Up Its Presence In Africa
Posted on 12/29/2012 12:07:06 PM PST by neverdem
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.
Now unit commander Col. Jeff Broadwater is preparing to do the same kind of mission but in a different place. So Broadwater is scouring his brigade for unique skills.
"We're fortunate enough to have some African speakers, Swahili," Broadwater says.
Swahili is spoken in much of East Africa. And the colonel says he's also happy to have a handful of soldiers with first-hand experience on the continent.
"We do have some soldiers who either came over from Africa and went to school here and then joined the military or came over with their families," Broadwater says.
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.
Meanwhile, the Defense Intelligence Agency is already placing more of its military spies in Africa.
The top American commander for Africa, Gen. Carter Ham, says this is all new. He spoke recently at an appearance in Washington: "Africa has not been a part of the world in which we have focused a lot of attention, certainly not during the majority of my career."
American Green Berets have trained African troops in the past. But Gen. Ham says this new effort is more comprehensive, and necessary given emerging security threats on the continent.
"There are a lot of issues in Africa that are causing concern for the United States," says Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He points in particular to the West African nation of Mali.
"Particularly the spread of terrorism you have al-Qaida's local franchise in Africa controlling two thirds of that country right now," he says.
Al-Qaida and its affiliates are operating in a wide arc from Nigeria through Mali, Libya and into Somalia. Gen. Ham says there are indications the groups are starting to work together.
"What I worry about more than anything is a growing linkage which I think poses the greatest threat to regional stability across Africa, certainly into Europe and to the United States as well," Ham says.
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.
"We've been really just basically trying to understand you know, a little bit more about Africa," Broadwater says. "The history of those areas, the culture so when we do deploy to those countries we have a little bit better idea of what's going on."
But what's going on in the continent, says Africa expert Richard Downie, cannot be addressed by just providing military training and equipment. There are underlying causes of unrest and extremism: poverty, lack of health care and education, and predatory governments. Downie says those are the challenges the U.S. and other countries must tackle.
"Terrorism is really a symptom of a lot of other problems that really the military is not the best organization to solve," he says.
Better organizations, says Downie, would be the State Department and the Agency for International Development.
But the military is the organization with the biggest budget. That is why 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.
But after ten years of war, the American military is not eager for any new combat operations.
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Oh yes, that's right. Entitlement checks now trump our military.
In Mali they’re MAYBE doing some legit ops. The rest of it?
It’s almost surely a stupid goat f*ck, involving payment of US money to war-lords presiding over blowing sands where flies flock to the pinched-closed eyes of kids with distended bellies. And that’s before all the, “Yankee Go Home” stuff kicks in.
This is simply the beginning of a huge and expensive effort to make All Nations Equal —the USA got rich by cheating and thieving, blah, blah, blah...
Just more of the effort to turn US military people into social workers through “peace keeping”, “Three Block War”, etc., etc.
Hey isn’t this how we got started in Vietnam? What’s up with all our little Hollywood leftists that screamed whenever a Republican administration sent troops somewhere, wasn’t their cry, America can’t be the worlds police, stop American Colonialism? What a difference a Democrat administration makes, then it’s OK to send American soldiers to die in foreign countries.
Hmmm! I wonder if Zero got the okay from Congress.
Will they have rounds for their weapons?
That chart says it all- and that’s BEFORE sequestration kicks in.
I don’t think this is going to go too well, for US Troops.
After ours are confiscated, they’ll have plenty.
About time, too bad it was published.
We can own Africa.
We spent enough money on it.
Let’s see now. The first half of the last century we got involved in Europe and we got into war. The second half of the last century we got involved in Asia and we got into war. The first half of this century we got involved in the Near East and we got into war. South America where we have a foothold ‘fighting drugs’ with aims at knocking over a few rulers. So now Africa ‘fighting Muslims’. And of course when we get into a foreign area through war we never leave. There is always someone that needs our protection. We have another nation to build somewhere.
But nation building at home is socialism because our government does it for us. God Help Us.
America is an empire. I do not think we should intervene in Africa at this point. We need to downsize our Army and Marine Corps (but only after we take on entitlement spending).
Per post # 12.
Right, we have to get started in many places, including paying off our debt to China before that blows up. The long run in Washington ends when the can stops rolling during a future administration.
We need enough military to defend the USA but there never will be enough to defend the world.
Not only that but we aren’t ruthless enough to preserve our hard fought gains overseas. If we aren’t willing to subjugate local populations with an iron fist, it’s time for us to get out of Empire-building business.
The war in Syria is being prosecuted by American Trained GCC special forces organizing and leading the Syrian Rebels. From what I can see, it is going slow, but well.
The original intent of American Special Forces was to provide leadership for local troops to make war against the bad guys.
What could possibly go wrong? I spent a couple of years bopping around the Dark Continent. From what I’ve seen of African military forces, they’re like gangs in Chicago or Detroit.
-——theyre like gangs in Chicago or Detroit.-——
That is why trained and organized military can whip their ass. No more gang on gang,
May 1961 - President Kennedy sends 400 American Green Beret Special Advisors to South Vietnam to train South Vietnamese soldiers in methods of counter-insurgency in the fight against Viet Cong guerrillas.
The entitlements are sickening. Not sure why SS is considered an entitlement, however.
You keep posting that, but what is the significance of it, what are you trying to say?
Create the problem, provide the solution.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
This is possibly the worst idea I have ever heard of.
Why do we have a U.S. African command?
Excuse me. It obviously meant nothing.
What did/does that graph look like in the Soviet Union/Russia?
The only people who will benefit from this are the Idi Amins and the real estate agents in Marbella or Geneva who will make a killing selling villas to African generals and their concubines.
The pre-election meme was that Obama killed OBL, and by implication defeated AQ. The reality is that the “Arab Spring” has empowered them and allowed them to spread their influence throughout the region. He’s made a huge mess out there that’s going to be very expensive to clean up in terms of both lives and dollars. Given the ROE he’s imposed on our troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan, I think we’ll be taking some heavy casualties before it’s over.
Au Contraire. Aquaponic requires no Villa.
Let the Idi Amins, their Rhodesian facilitators, and their Fascist/Corporatist-State Company stores go back to Hell where they belong.
BTW, the climate of Florida makes it an ideal year-round locale for experimenting with Aquaponics.
Have you tried it?
I don’t know much about aquaponics, but it’s pretty big in Cuban agriculture.
[I dont know much about aquaponics]
Tobacco is also pretty big in Cuban agriculture.
But, the fact that even state-collectivist parasites can manage to turn tobacco, aquaponics (,and/or self-governance) into a cash-cow for non-productive, teat-sucking, collectivist swine in the farmhouse — is self-evidence of the viability of aquaponics, tobacco, and self-governance.
You need to live there. You pretty well described everyday life in the Worker’s Caribbean Paradise. During my four year tour in Havana (1993-1997), we had access to food that normal Cubans sure didn’t, at the Diplomatic Store. They haven’t managed to screw up the Cuban cigar industry, and their Havana Club Rum is still the best on the planet. Life for Juan de la Cruz (Cuba’s John Doe) sucks on a daily base. Most of them barely get by on their meager govt rations. The Cubans who worked for us told us that their ration books only lasted two to three weeks of the month; if they didn’t have access to $$$, they did without.
>>You need to live there.
I don’t need to live there to see the self-evident truth that Aquaponics works well enough that even collectivist teat-suckers and Cubans can make it work.
And if they can make it work - imagine what FRee citizens, having inalienable rights that are secured by a government whose purpose is reformed to do so, once again, could produce with it.
‘course, your Collective Milk Mileage may vary.
Concur. The Cuban is very intelligent, but is seriously oppressed; any “get up and go” has been bred out of the average Cuban. The entrepreneurial spirit is not completely dead. The guy that used to come around our house and take our recyclables. He had a beat-up hand made pull cart. He took all my old Gatorade bottles, then sold them to neighborhood moms to take to the milk rationing point to get their ration for their six-and-under kids. Just before I left, he had traded up and got a metal cart with real wheels. My daughter got about three Victoria’s Secret catalogs per week. Julio pulled them out of the recyclables then traded them to the cops for their shirts. He carried out capitalism under the very nose of the State and thumbed his nose at them
>>the milk rationing point to get their ration
>>for their six-and-under kids.
“COMMERCE BETWEEN MASTER AND SLAVE IS DESPOTISM”
Milk Rationing, like the Soviet bread line, and the British control over Indian Salt, is the manipulation and enslavement of the Individual via the tyranny of their own appetite.
Let the Progressive Tribal Kleptocrats in control of the Company/State Store choke on the reality that Aquaponics has the humane potential to free Individuals from their tyrannical purview.
As Gandhi made Salt, let all FRee Individuals grow Fish and Kale.
There are 1500 to 2000 languages in Africa. Having a few men in the brigade who know a little Swahili is not going to help much. http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/african_languages.htm
Moreover, there are more tribes than languages in Africa.
Then the article goes on to say, “But what’s going on in the continent, says Africa expert Richard Downie, cannot be addressed by just providing military training and equipment. There are underlying causes of unrest and extremism: poverty, lack of health care and education, and predatory governments.”
Too bad that their chosen “Africa expert” appears to be clueless about the underlying cause of tribalism. Tribalism says, “Our President for Life may be a lying, thieving dictator, but he is MY Tribe’s lying, thieving dictator!” (kinda like union bosses here in the USA).
That lying, thieving dictator runs the “predatory government” which manages the “poverty, lack of health care and education”.
Similar to the tribe to which our RINO, Democrat, media & academia elite belong, who try to ignore the Tea Party and all those fly-over country, redneck, little people.
When do we stop arming al-Qaida?