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  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default AFRICOM plus US involvement in Africa 2018 onwards

    This is a new thread to gather the various components of the USA's involvement in Africa, largely in the continent south of the Sahara.

    The previous thread Africom Stands Up (Merged thread) covers 2006-2017, with 392 posts and 156k views. There are a few other threads scattered around, in particular the thread on Niger, which includes the ambush of a US SOF team with Nigerien soldiers.

    There is a separate, closed thread:AFRICOM and the perception mess which upon review defies merging; it had 161 posts and 52k views.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-20-2018 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Editing
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Caveat: source is the New Yorker

    The Enduring American Military Mission in Africa
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily...sion-in-africa

    Some questions to AFRICOM's Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Some context

    One must wonder how AFRICOM, let alone the USA, will be seen after President Trump's '#### hole' remarks that labeled all of Africa.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Evolving Terror The Development of Jihadist Operations

    This report needed a home even if this thread does not readily seem the best place. Well it does refer to the thread faced by AFRICOM and others.

    'Evolving Terror The Development of Jihadist Operations Targeting Western Interests in Africa' by FDD's SME. It is 41 pgs and not read today.
    Link:http://www.defenddemocracy.org/conte...vingTerror.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-27-2018 at 08:22 AM. Reason: 1,441v
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Evolving Terror: a shorter version

    Hat tip to WoTR for a summary article by one of the report's authors and here is why it is important:
    ..between January 2007 and December 2011 as the impact of the Arab Spring revolutions was just beginning to be felt jihadists carried out 132 successful, thwarted, or failed attacks against Western interests in Africa. This figure nearly tripled to 358 attacks between January 2012 and October 2017.
    Link:https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/sp...st-innovation/
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    Default

    Sorry for the long hiatus. My response to this thread will be a bit off tangent, but let me make a few points with respect to Africa's evolution.

    1. In Nigeria, youth under/unemployment is in the 40% range. Population growth rate is around 2.6%. There is no military solution for a looming demographic crisis - lack of jobs etc. So AFRICOM might be largely irrelevant in the scheme of things. The future will happen, with or without AFRICOM.

    2. As youth unemployment rises, the ability of African Governments to provide public goods is on the decline. In Lagos, Nigeria, at least 40% (and probably more) of the primary school students attend private schools - for two main reasons - there are simply not enough public schools and public schools are of mediocre quality. Outside Lagos, public schools are even worse, but we are breeding a generation that has seen very few benefits from the State, and is very likely to grow up to challenge the State.

    3. Trump (and his administration) do not believe in "Climate Change", but climate change is one of the major drivers of migration from the Sahel to the Middle Belt and Coastal regions. Climate change also led to the disappearance of Lake Chad (and if you guessed it, Boko Haram emerged from the Lake Chad Region).

    4. The major internal security challenge in Nigeria is no longer Boko Haram, it is violent clashes between Fulani herders and local farmers (73 people were killed ON A SINGLE DAY in Benue State, early this year). This conflict hits at the very core of ethnic and religious differences. (There is also speculation that some Boko Haram veterans are involved in this ever expanding conflict).

    5. It all boils down to a governance deficit. AFRICOM will support Idris Debby and Paul Biya (who are despised in their various nations, Biya cut off Internet access to the South West region for months, and he's done this several times). At the end of the day, you get no thanks for uncritically supporting dictators who have plied their trade for decades.

    6. Africa had a difficult 19th and 20th Century. It will have a difficult 21st Century. I can't see AFRICOM as part of the solution to our deep seated problems. Some time in the 2030s (at the latest), US will pack their bags and leave. We either solve our economic and governance problems, or sink. (If you doubt me, check the poverty statistics on the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics website).

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    One must wonder how AFRICOM, let alone the USA, will be seen after President Trump's '#### hole' remarks that labeled all of Africa.
    I don't think any African policy maker believes Trump is a friend of the continent, or takes the continent seriously or has anything apart from barely concealed disdain about the continent.

    But that is not the most important issue; Trump slammed tariffs on Rwanda for banning the importation of second hand clothing from US and Trump is also threatening South Africa with tariffs and for voting against them in the UN - and not supporting the movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

    Any smart person knows that US considers Africa to be strategically irrelevant. Trump makes it painfully obvious.

    You can't say US is thinking 10 - 20 years down the line with respect to its engagement with Africa. It is clear they don't think Africa has any role to play in America's future - especially with the shale boom and the end of US dependence on foreign energy supplies.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-03-2018 at 08:05 AM. Reason: 5,312v today

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Africom: new strategy coming and 10% less troops

    A long article that tries to cover many issues and two passages:
    National Security Advisor John Bolton is scheduled to unveil the Trump administration’s new strategy for the continent in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation on Thursday. It is expected to focus on countering near-peer adversaries rather than counterterrorism. The White House is not expected to ask for more funding for diplomacy, intelligence gathering or foreign aid, according to NBC News.

    The announcement comes just weeks after the Pentagon said it would be cutting 10 percent of its troop presence in Africa over the next several years, including half of the counterterrorism forces operating in West Africa. The Defense Department said in a statement that the goal was to “realign our counter-terrorism resources and forces operating in Africa over the next several years in order to maintain a competitive posture worldwide.”
    Link:https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2018/12/small-wars-great-power-trumps-africa-reset-could-change-us-militarys-role/153485/?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-13-2018 at 06:39 PM. Reason: 6,298v today
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Niger ambush rolls on

    Cross-posting a SWJ article as it is very relevant here and is by the former AFRICOM CO.
    Link:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...accountability
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