As U.S. Military Draws Down in Africa, Fears of Terrorism Rise

A US army instructor and Malian soldiers during an anti-terrorism exercise at the Kamboinse – General Bila Zagre military camp near Ouagadougo in Burkina Faso. April 12, 2018. (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — Last month, the U.S. and Niger announced that 1,000 American troops would withdraw from Niger “no later” than September 15, following an order from the military officers ruling the West African nation. The first U.S. troops left Niger last week, the beginning of the end of a significant and longstanding counterterrorism partnership in the Sahel region.

It’s also a deployment that has drawn limited public attention in the U.S. – despite the fact that it is larger than the American presence in Syria or Somalia. In 2017, when 4 U.S. special forces were killed in an ambush in Niger, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, acknowledged that he “didn’t know there was a thousand (American) troops in Niger.”

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Categorized as:Africa Reporting

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