US follows enemy to Africa

Washington Post:
In his first term, President Obama instructed the Pentagon to pivot its forces and reorient its strategy toward fast-growing Asia. Instead, the U.S. military finds itself drawn into a string of messy wars in another, much poorer part of the world: Africa.

Over the past two years, the Pentagon has become embroiled in conflicts in Libya, Somalia, Mali and central Africa. Meantime, the Air Force is setting up a fourth African drone base, while Navy warships are increasing their missions along the coastlines of East and West Africa.

In scope and expense, the U.S. military involvement in Africa still barely registers when compared with its presence in Asia, let alone the Middle East or Afghanistan. On any given day, there are only about 5,000 U.S. troops scattered across all of Africa, while 28,000 are stationed in South Korea alone.

But it is becoming more common for the Pentagon to deploy troops to parts of Africa that many Americans would be hard-pressed to locate on a map, such as Djibouti, the Central African Republic and now the West African country of Niger, where the U.S. military is planning a base for Predator drones.

Pentagon officials say their expanded involvement in Africa is necessary to combat the spread of al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa and Somalia and other guerrillas such as Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. And while U.S. military leaders have sought to downplay their rudimentary network of bases on the continent, there are signs that they are planning for a much more robust presence.

In a written statement provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who is poised to become the next leader of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, estimated that the U.S. military needs to increase its intelligence-gathering and spying missions in Africa by nearly 15-fold.
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Obama has this pattern of trying to dictate events he does not control.  This is especially the case with enemy forces.  If you are going to dictate their actions you have to do it with force and not retreat and Obama has been all about retreat and taking pot shots with drones.  He has no real strategic insight into how to defeat the enemy.  As al Qaeda has attempted to spread it influence through associations in Africa, Obama has tried to ignore those threats wherever possible and it has led to disaster in Libya, Mali and Egypt and it has seen Nigeria fighting a sectarian war to prevent al Qaeda affiliates mass murder operations.

The main problem is a tendency to see radical Islam as a mostly benign threat instead of an existential threat to modernity in many parts of the world.  These Islamic religious bigots are deadly serious in spreading their hatred.  If we fail to recognize that we will see our war with them spread.

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