From Small Wars to Great Power, Trump’s Africa Reset Could Change U.S. Military’s Role by Katie Bo Williams - Defense One
The Trump administration has declared a new era of Great Power competition, shifting U.S. national security priorities from counterterrorism after almost two decades to long-term strategic threats from countries like Russia and China.
But in Africa — a contested battlefield where those adversaries are vying for strategic influence — policy experts warn that the U.S. hasn’t been playing the game. The Pentagon has escalated counterterrorism strikes and special operations missions across the continent in a quietly expanding mission. Some lawmakers and former officials for years have warned that the U.S. has relied too heavily on elite operators for short-term tactical missions that aren’t underpinned by an holistic strategy or complemented by non-military efforts and, in Africa, that dynamic is particularly stark.
Gen. Tony Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, told a conference audience in Austin earlier this month that “there has been a realization that [Africa] is a great power competition area.”…