The annual Flintlock training in West Africa is more necessary than ever this year after violent extremist attacks skyrocket throughout the region. Hundreds of Special Operations Forces from around the world participate in Flintlock. A U.S.-led training exercise, Flintlock focuses on providing counterterrorism training for regional militaries in order to combat the growing terrorist threats. These attacks continue to grow despite the presence of 17,500 French and U.N. troops in the area. The Sahel had around 2,600 deaths in 2019 stemming from over 800 attacks. Despite growing concern throughout the continent, the U.S. is considering withdrawing their 5,000 troops in order to better prepare for threats from China and Russia.