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Pentagon’s new strategy means balancing act in Africa for U.S. special ops | The Washington Times

Pentagon’s new strategy means balancing act in Africa for U.S. special ops | The Washington Times

 

The Pentagon’s decision to draw down 10 percent of its counterterrorism operations in Africa comes as Russia and China are aggressively ramping up efforts to expand their influence on the continent.

The decision has left the sizable contingent of American troops, a majority consisting of U.S. special operations forces, stationed in Africa with the unenviable task of balancing the traditional fight against regional terrorist and jihadist group and fitting into the a rapidly reorienting overall U.S. strategy.

“There has been a realization that there is a great-power competition area” in Africa, current U.S. Special Operations Command chief Gen. Tony Thomas said.

“China and Russia are in Djibouti in a big way … defying the sovereign powers there [and] they are competing pretty aggressively on the continent,” he said, referring to the east African country that is home to Camp Lemonnier, the U.S. military’s largest outpost in the region.

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