Africa: “The Battlefield of Tomorrow, Today”

Nick Turse once again reports on the growth of U.S. “training” activities across the continent of Africa, under the regional command known as “AFRICOM.” Highlights include:

  • Between 2008 to 2013, the number of missions, exercises, operations, and other activities under AFRICOM’s purview has increased from 172 to 546
  • The U.S. military is involved in “proxy” conflicts, including aiding French and African forces in Mali and the Central African Republic.
  • “U.S. Army Africa records reveal a 94% increase in all activities by Army personnel from 2011 to 2013, including a 174% surge in State Partnership missions (from 34 to 93) and a 436% jump in Advise-and-Assist activities including ACOTA missions (from 11 to 59).”
  • “A 2013 investigation by TomDispatch analyzing official documents and open source information revealed that the U.S. military was involved with at least 49 of the 54 nations on the African continent during 2012 and 2013 in activities that ranged from special ops raids to the training of proxy forces.”
  • The only official base on the continent is Camp Lemonnier, of Djibouti. According to Turse, however, official documents mention multiple other, more smaller bases, including forrward operating sites, or FOSes (long-term locations); cooperative security locations, or CSLs (through which small numbers of U.S. troops periodically rotate); and contingency locations, or CLs (which are used only during ongoing missions).
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