Category Archives: Military

US Army General Stephen Townsend confirmed as Africa Command commander

By Joanne Stocker

During his April 2 confirmation hearing, Townsend told a Senate panel that Russia is “after access and influence to our detriment” in Africa, calling Moscow’s aims on the continent “exploitative.”

As AFRICOM commander, Townsend is set to replace U.S. Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhauser and oversee relationships with 51 African partner nations to help build their defense capability and capacity of their security forces. Read more

Panel: U.S. Base in Djibouti Key to American Interests in Africa

By: John Grady

Camp Lemonier, the American base in Djibouti, is becoming more integral to U.S. interests in the volatile region surrounding the Red Sea, a leading regional expert said Thursday.

The region presents an excellent opportunity for the United States “to have a unifying role,” for the maritime transit path, Zach Vertin, a fellow at the Doha Center of Brookings Institution, told USNI News on Thursday. Read more

What is the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa?

By Katie Lange

U.S. service members with the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa have spent the past few weeks helping victims of Cyclone Idai, a devastating storm that slammed into Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March.

Most Americans don’t know a whole lot about the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa — CJTF HOA, for short — or our relationship with the countries it involves, but the region in which it operates is vital to U.S. interests.

Not sure why? Here are some details that might help explain it. Read more

American military preparing for seven-year mission to battle Islamist militants in Somalia

By Brian Brinker

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will extend the national emergency declaration in Somalia for at least one more year. The Pentagon, however, is buckling down for an even longer mission, one that could extend for seven years or more. President Trump cited the Islamist insurgency in the country as an “unusual and extraordinary threat.”

Currently, the U.S. Special Operations Forces are working to establish and train an elite unit of Somali soldiers to combat al-Shabaab militants. The group has been linked to al-Qaeda. While President Trump has sought to diminish America’s large and expensive military presence across the world, some hotspots remain too dangerous to ignore. Read more

Revealed: The U.S. has 36 code-named military operations in Africa

By Nick Turse and Sean D. Naylor

Many Americans first became aware of U.S. military operations in Africa in October 2017, after the Islamic State ambushed American troops near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing four U.S. soldiers and wounding two others.

Just after the attack, U.S. Africa Command said U.S. troops were providing “advice and assistance” to local counterparts. Later, it would become clear that those troops — the 11-man Operational Detachment-Alpha Team 3212 — were working out of the town of Oullam with a larger Nigerian force under the umbrella of Operation Juniper Shield, a wide-ranging counterterrorism effort in northwest Africa.

American troops 2

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U.S. Navy hovercraft evacuated Americans from Tripoli, Libya 

As Khalifa Haftar’s militia pushes deeper into Tripoli, Americans in the capital to help the UN-backed government are being whisked to safety.


Factions of the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by hardline General Khalifa Haftar, have made a thrust into Tripoli and have claimed to have taken control of Tripoli International Airport, which hasn’t been anywhere near fully functional since 2014.

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