Small Wars Journal

Behind the Secret U.S. War in Africa

Behind the Secret U.S. War in Africa by Wesley Morgan – Politico

American special operations teams are playing a more direct role in military actions against suspected terrorists in Africa than the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged, planning and participating in combat raids by African troops in multiple countries including Somalia, Kenya, Tunisia and Niger, under a set of classified programs.

In repeated public statements, military spokespeople have said the American role in Africa is limited to “advising and assisting” other militaries. But for at least five years, Green Berets, Navy SEALs and other commandos operating under a little-understood authority have planned and controlled certain missions, putting them in charge of their African partner forces.

Under both the Obama and Trump administrations, the military has relied on partners in other countries to carry out crucial missions against suspected terrorists, to avoid American casualties after years of massive direct involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. But having Americans plan and retain operational control of the missions gives them greater ability to strike quickly against threats, according to supporters of the programs, even as it shields the true nature of the missions from critics in the United States and abroad…

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