Monday, May 26, 2014

Map Shows All the African Countries Where the U.S. Has Active Military Operations

Surprising Map Shows All the African Countries Where the U.S. Has Active Military Operations

The news: Today’s reality check comes courtesy of the Washington Post.
President Barack Obama made headlines Wednesday when he deployed 80 American troops to Chad. Their stated mission is to find the over 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haramlast month, a crime that’s galvanized the international community.
But this is the U.S. military, and we’d be foolish to assume anything is so simple. Anyone worried about the broader implications of their actions need look no further than this map:

Image Credit: Washington Post
Thirteen nations – stretching from the Horn of Africa to
Mali’s western border – already house U.S. troops involved
in “actual military operations.” Their presence is widely 
considered part of an expanding “shadow war against
al-Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups” in the
region – and the American people know very little about it.
Like many wars throughout history, this one is 
starting small. Troop numbers remain low, and intelligence
operations are housed mainly in small airbases constructed
in the past seven years.

They emphasize spy missions: Many involve aircraft
disguised as private planes, and are equipped with full-motion
sensors that track infrared heat patterns, record video
and pick up radio and cellphone signals. At least 12 such
bases have been built since 2007.
Things have been quiet thus far, but the U.S. has a troubled 
history of conducting proxy wars throughout Africa.
Since 9/11 alone, American covert operations have contributed
to violence and destabilization in Mali, the Central African
Republic and Libya, among others. Without the level of
pomp and troop involvement as the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, U.S. forces can now subtly influence Africa’s
political landscape as they see fit, while evading public scrutiny.
This should worry us. Despite their operations’ relative
tameness nowadays – if launching drone strikes and
fighting proxy wars can be considered “tame” – U.S.
military intervention on the continent has rarely been without
negative consequences. It’s grown increasingly important to
remember this when calling for intervention in African affairs:
Whatever Band-Aid effect Americans may have now, the
long-term impact will be felt almost exclusively by the people
who actually live there.
Remaining vigilant as our troops amass in growing numbers
might be one of the few ways to avoid creating more
problems we’re ill equipped to fix. The beginning of that
process is education.
To that end, here’s a brief rundown of recent U.S. military
activities and outposts in Sub-Saharan Africa:
Burkina Faso. Base established 2007 in Ouagadougou,
launches spy planes to police and patrol the Islamic Maghreb.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Congo. Troops stationed in Congo to aid the search for
Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.
Central African Republic. Part of the broader search for
the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Chad. 80 troops deployed May 21 to search for the
kidnapped Nigerian girls.
Djibouti. Home to Camp Lemonnier, a full-blown military
base that houses 4,000 troops and has a $1.4 billion
expansion plan in the works. Also faces allegations of being
used as a “black site” where terrorism suspects are tortured.
A congressional investigation into the issue has yet to be
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Ethiopia. Airport annex used to house Reaper drones
flown over East Africa since 2011.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Kenya. Multiple bases, including Manda Bay (used to
launch drone strikes) and Camp Simba, home to 60 military
personnel since 2013.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Mali. Troops sent in 2013 to aid French and African forces
in wartime, though the White House insisted they were not
directly engaged in combat.
Niger. Drone base since 2013, also houses 100 military
intelligence personnel.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Nigeria. Troops deployed to aid the search for the kidnapped
girls earlier this month.
Somalia. Fewer than two dozen troops deployed for “training
and advising” purposes in 2014.
South Sudan. Forty-five military personnel deployed to
protect U.S. citizens and property in 2013.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
Uganda. Launches surveillance aircraft out of a base in
Entebbe, mostly used to search for Joseph Kony’s Lord’s
Resistance Army.
Image Credit: Public Intelligence
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