U.S. Special Operations Numbers Surge in Africa’s Shadow Wars.

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 01 January 2017, 16:45 hrs, UTC, Post #70.



Reporter:  Nick Turse.

Accessed on 01 January 2017, 16:45 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.


While much of the world’s focus is centered on the Syrian Civil War, Russian hacking exploits against U.S. and European targets, and the growing expansion of the Peoples Republic of China into Southeast Asia, a growing struggle is emerging in Africa which threatens to overtake other geopolitical issues.

According to “The Intercept” reporter Nick Turse, Africa’s “shadow wars” have gained the attention of the United States and France which have committed military personnel to advise African government faced by long-standing insurgences.

While France is engaged in defending its former colony of Chad,  the U.S. Africa Command area of operations has committed special forces to more than 30 counter-insurgency missions in Africa. The number of U.S. military personnel in Africa is only second to the troops committed to fighting ISIS/ISIL terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Officially, Brigadier General Donald Bolduc says “we are not the kinetic solution…we are not at war in Africa–but our African partners are.”

Reporter Nick Turse offers this observation:

“That statement stands in stark contrast to this year’s missions in Somalia where, for example, U.S. Special Operations forces assisted local commandos in killing several members of the militant group, al-Shabab and Libya, where they supported local fighters battling members of the Islamic State. These missions also speak to the exponential growth of special operations on the continent.

As recently as 2014, there were reportedly only about 700 U.S. commandos deployed in Africa on any given day. Today, according to Bolduc, “there are approximately 1,700 [Special Operations forces] and enablers deployed… at any given time. This team is active in 20 nations in support of seven major named operations.”

“Using data provided by Special Operations Command and open source information, The Intercept found that U.S. special operators were actually deployed in at least 33 African nations, more than 60% of the 54 countries on the continent, in 2016.”


Keep an eye on the developing crisis in Africa.  This could be the big international story in 2017.  At stake are not only the well-being of many African nations, but also the final factor in determining who gains control of the region’s vast resources of uranium, oil, gold, and other mineral riches.  Don’t fool yourself–this is a struggle over resources and power.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest



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