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AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly

Posted on Apr 14, 2014

    Gen. David Rodriguez, center, speaks with subordinates in South Africa in early August 2013. Photo by US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)

By Nick Turse, TomDispatch

(Page 4)

TomDispatch’s recent investigations have, however, revealed that the U.S. military is indeed pivoting to Africa.  It now averages far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and “contingency security locations.”  The U.S. has taken an active role in wars from Libya to the Central African Republic, sent special ops forces into countries from Somalia to South Sudan, conducted airstrikes and abduction missions, even put boots on the ground in countries where it pledged it would not.

“We have shifted from our original intent of being a more congenial combatant command to an actual war-fighting combatant command,” AFRICOM’s Rick Cook explained to the audience of big-money defense contractors.  He was unequivocal: the U.S. has been “at war” on the continent for the last two and half years.  It remains to be seen when AFRICOM will pass this news on to the American public.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute.  A 2014 Izzy Award winner, his pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, at the BBC, and regularly at TomDispatch. He is the author most recently of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (just out in paperback).

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook and Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Ann Jones’s They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America’s Wars—The Untold Story.

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