Small Wars Journal

Missteps Define US Strategy in Africa

Missteps Define US Strategy in Africa by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post.

...The U.S. government has invested heavily in counterterrorism programs in the region, spending more than $1 billion since 2005 to train security forces, secure borders, promote democracy, reduce poverty and spread propaganda.

The strategy was portrayed as a sobering lesson from the costly invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The goal of stabilizing weak African countries was to keep al-Qaeda out and obviate the need to send U.S. combat forces into the Sahara.

Despite those efforts, Belmokhtar’s group and a hazy array of other jihadist factions and rebellious tribesmen seized control of northern Mali last year. In March, a U.S.-trained Malian officer carried out a coup...