Foreign Policy

America's Secret Wars in Africa


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The United States has intelligence operations, often run through the military, throughout the African continent, according to the Washington Post, which "pieced together descriptions of the surveillance network by examining references to it in unclassified military reports, U.S. government contracting documents and diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group. Further details were provided by interviews with American and African officials, as well as military contractors."

The operations are run largely out of African military bases and small civilian airports, with refueling often occurring "on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles." While some Predator and Reaper drones are used (likely largely in Somalia), most of the surveillance planes are manned and disguised as civilian aircraft, and the Post reports a central hub of the operations in Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. America established its presence there in 2007 for "medical evacuation and logistics requirements." Other bases are in Mauritania, Djibouti (where more than 200 Marines are based for forward operations in the Middle East), Uganda (where a hundred U.S. troops are hunting the war criminal Joseph Kony), Ethiopia, Kenya and the Seychelles. The U.S. hopes to expand its facilities there and open new ones elsewhere.

courtesy washington post

The military admits to air strikes and raids in Somalia (where the Islamist terror group al-Shabab briefly held power in Mogadishu), but otherwise they say "they generally limit their involvement to sharing intelligence with allied African forces so they can attack terrorist camps on their own territory." A self-declared independent Islamist state in the north of Mali that arose in the wake of Western intervention in Libya, is one area of interest, the growing threat of the Islamist terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria another. The U.S. is interested in setting up a military presence in South Sudan, too, to help hunt down Joseph Kony but also to bring itself closer to the growing conflict between Sudan and the recently independent South Sudan.

The Washington Post reports that "operations have intensified in recent months, part of a growing shadow war against al-Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups [on the continent]", and Army General Carter Ham, head of the U.S. Africa Command (headquartered in Germany) told Congress the military wants to expand its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations further on the continent. But, the Washington Post warns:

The creeping U .S. military involvement in long-simmering African conflicts, however, carries risks. Some State Department officials have expressed reservations about the militarization of U.S. foreign policy on the continent. They have argued that most terrorist cells in Africa are pursuing local aims, not global ones, and do not present a direct threat to the United States.

Guerrilla groups on the African continent, generally, have neither the means nor the desire to target the United States, though enough intervention may change the desire and maybe even eventually the means (still a lot of missing weapons post-Libya)

The Post also relays the story of one private contractor working for the U.S. in Africa being picked up by air marshals on a Paris-to-Atlanta flight after saying he had dynamite in his boots and laptop and "mumbling incoherently" about secret operations in Africa. He was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity for the disruption. 

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  1. Africans are getting a taste of the cock of democracy.

    1. And it is going to blow it’s load all over them. Though this is nothing new, we have secretly been skullfucking Africa for years… This is just stale news to give blue statist fucks an Obama boner.

      1. This is not skullfucking. France’s policies in the area on the other hand…

        1. I would guess the Africans who have been killed directly by American bombs or our policies/political support for dictators, and their families, would beg to differ on your skullfucking opinion. However, I do agree that France’s policies not only skullfuck Africa far harder than the US, they go a step further and wipe their dick on the good towels when they are finished, and never bother to call.

  2. The U.S. is interested in setting up a military presence in South Sudan, too, …to bring itself closer to the growing conflict between Sudan and the recently independent South Sudan.


    1. We can’t solve Africa’s problems through nonintervention, so we need to not solve them through intervention.

      1. Isn’t that Gary Johnson’s foreign policy platform?

        1. Which, not solving through nonintervention or not solving through intervention?

          1. I think Gary Johnson’s policy is “solving through intervention” but we all know how that works out.

            1. My plan is to solve through nonintervention. Except maybe by Disney, who could open Afro Disney in, say, Kenya.

    2. Wow what a terrible fucking idea.

  3. Do US forces in Africa get to wear pith helmets?

    1. I certainly hope so. I would feel cheated if I worked for the CIA as a bush pilot and wan’t allowed to wear a pith helmet as part of my official uniform.

    2. ….and walrus mustaches.

      1. Pith helmet . . . walrus mustache . . . .

        All you need to complete the look is a monocle.

        1. And a British accent.

  4. The bombing of Somalia is clearly an Obama Administration attack on libertopia.

  5. The ‘conflicts’ in africa are tribal and they began about the time africa broke away from gondwanaland. They will be solved…well….never.
    What a completely pointless stupid stupid thing for us to do. I knew obama was a moron, but c’mon.

    1. Hold on. It’s not true that all the conflicts are tribal. And being involved doesn’t mean we are out to solve them. We could just kill our enemies and be gone.

      1. We have active enemies in Africa?

        1. Those pirate dicks in Somalia cost our shipping businesses billions every year. I would call them enemies.

          1. African pirates. Some shit never changes, huh?

          2. “our” shipping businesses should hire on some private security, then.

          3. I wish US flagged ships were allowed to have guns on board to defend themselves. A single 20mm cannon would prevent attacks from even the most determined pirates. Stupid maritime laws.

            1. The problem isn’t so much US maritime laws but the laws of whatever port the ship would want to dock at. Very few countries have arms regulations as unrestrictive as the US, and even those that do often don’t allow the same degree of freedom to foreigners.

        2. I also heard about this prince in Nigeria the US was helping free up his money. I think the US government fronted him like $2 or $3 billion to free up the 12 gazillion dollars he had tied up in the banks so he would split it with us. I remember hearing he ran off with our money – I would say he is an enemy 🙂

          1. He’s probably in Russia now.

  6. If I have to pick between shadowy CIA style operations and invading everything, I pick the shadowy CIA style operations.

    Also, the news that the US has intelligence assets operating in Africa is deeply unsurprising. You know who else has agents in Africa? Everyone.

    1. If I have to pick between a false choices dilemma logical fallacy and a strawman, I pick the Obama Administration (and get two for the price of one!)

    2. What ever happened to those two clown Norweigans that got arrested over there for taking pictures with their dead driver? Anybody know?

      1. Norwegians

  7. Take up the White Man’s burden–
    And reap his old reward:
    The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard–
    The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
    “Why brought he us from bondage,
    Our loved Egyptian night?”

  8. Not very secret if they’re in the Post, are they?

  9. Wow, I was joking up-blog about the Kony operation.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that even liberals hold this Invisibule Children organization at arm’s length?

  10. The Seychelles? Why?

    “To control the Maldives, you must control the Seychelles first.”

  11. So if one day attacks on America come from some African militants, to question the wisdom of American entanglements in Africa will be seen as unpatriotic. Also to label America an imperial power would called absurd, because having military bases and puppet regimes all over Africa are not the hallmarks of empire, but rather that of a constitutional republic ?!?

  12. Les gens aiment acheter et vendre en ligne sur le confort ? la maison. M?me dans la r?cente r?cession ?conomique n’a pas affect? la vente en ligne. En effet, les ventes ont augment? durant la r?cession.

  13. “on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots…”

    Say no MORE!

  14. CIA aircraft disguised a civilian planes supporting a secret war. Seems like we’ve done this before and as I recall it didn’t turn out so well.

  15. Sounds like a plan to me dude. Wow.

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