Foreign Policy

Obama's Wars in Africa: 100 Military Personnel in Niger Edition

More boots on the ground in the continent

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boots in ghana
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

President Obama sent about 100 U.S. military personnel to Niger to support the French mission to root out Islamists in Mali, of which he informed Congress today. In his State of the Union address last week, Obama pointed to Mali as an example of how the United States needs to operate in the global war on terror (term out of use) when he said "we'll need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali."

It was the only mention of Africa (other than in its inclusion in the global war on terror by some other name) in the address, yet the United States has been quite active on the continent. Obama previously sent 100 troops to Uganda in late 2011 to capture the rebel leader Joseph Kony. That search has led U.S. troops as far west as the Central African Republic, in addition to the nearby Congo and the newly independent South Sudan. U.S. military support, of course, was instrumental to regime change in Libya, despite lacking any Congressional authorization, and that intervention in Libya, in turn, fueled the instability in Mali and the region.

Last summer, the Washington Post outlined U.S. intelligence operations across Africa, which ranges from a forward operating base in Djibouti and drones over Somalia in Africa's horn to surveillance planes flying out of Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in West Africa. Niger, where 100 U.S. military personnel are now headed, is also the likeliest candidate for a new U.S. drone base in the region.

George W. Bush spent more on aid to Africa than any president that preceded him. Obama's legacy may be militarizing U.S. policy toward the continent more than any predecessor.

NEXT: Fighting for Transportation Freedom in Chicago

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  1. But I thought all guns were evil and no one needed anything more than a shotgun. Surely, sending not only weapons, but trained personnel to use them can’t solve any issues in Africa. Surely, those people in Africa should just tell the bad guys to behave themselves. Perhaps a new law with a warm and fuzzy name…

    1. Send them whistles?

  2. Our Germany based Africa Corps will bring victory to the Fatherland, oops I mean peace to the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…..ca_Command

    1. Er….Security to the Homeland??

  3. He’s slacking. We need to interfere in every country in the world!

  4. Obama’s Wars in Africa: 100 Military Personnel in Niger Edition

    1. RAAAACCCCC … oops, never mind.

      Also, FUCK YOU squirrels.

      Also also, fried chicken.

  5. We’re only making plans for Niger
    We only want what’s best for it
    We’re only making plans for Niger
    Niger just needs this helping hand

  6. They’re just advisors.

  7. It was the only mention of Africa (other than in its inclusion in the global war on terror by some other name) in the address, yet [Canada] has been quite active on the continent. [It] previously sent 100 troops to Uganda in late 2011 to capture the rebel leader Joseph Kony. That search has led [Canadian] troops as far west as the Central African Republic, in addition to the nearby Congo and the newly independent South Sudan. [Canadian] military support, of course, was instrumental to regime change in Libya, despite lacking any [Legislative] authorization, and that intervention in Libya, in turn, fueled the instability in Mali and the region.

    Try this with most countries in the world and it seems pointless yet cynical nosing about in other’s affairs with little justification. Why does the U.S merit a pass when doing these things?

    1. Because the right people are in charge?

  8. Niger, where 100 U.S. military personnel are now headed, is also the likeliest candidate for a new U.S. drone base in the region.

    Obama: Taking Up the Mulatto Man’s Burden?

  9. I notice that the white soldier’s uniform is lighter than those of the black soldiers. Therefore, RACIST!

    1. Well, you have to tell them apart somehow!

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