Nick Turse over at TomDispatch reports, once again, on the U.S. military’s “Africa pivot.” While AFRICOM is typically tight-lipped about its growing presence on the continent, Turse was able to acquire a more frank assessment of the military’s intentions during a conference for big engineering contractors. As he concludes his article,
TomDispatch’s recent investigations have, however, revealed that the U.S. military is indeed pivoting to Africa. It now averages far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and “contingency security locations.” The U.S. has taken an active role in wars from Libya to the Central African Republic, sent special ops forces into countries from Somalia to South Sudan, conducted airstrikes and abduction missions, even put boots on the ground in countries where it pledged it would not.
“We have shifted from our original intent of being a more congenial combatant command to an actual war-fighting combatant command,” AFRICOM’s Rick Cook explained to the audience of big-money defense contractors. He was unequivocal: the U.S. has been “at war” on the continent for the last two and half years. It remains to be seen when AFRICOM will pass this news on to the American public.
EDIT: see Nick Turse’s follow-up article on AFRICOM training missions in Libya.