- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
U.S. mission putting fewer troops at risk
Employing advisers, drones, aid against multiple threats popping up on continent
NAIROBI, Kenya — By the time U.S. military forces left Somalia in 1994 after entering the lawless nation more than a year earlier to stop a famine, 44 Army soldiers, Marines and airmen had been killed and dozens more wounded.
Thus ended America’s last large-scale military intervention in Africa.
But the U.S. has come back, using special forces advisers, drones and tens of millions of dollars in military aid to combat a growing and multifaceted security threat.
This time the United States is playing a less obtrusive role but is focusing once again on Somalia.
While putting few U.S. troops at risk, the United States also is providing intelligence and training to fight militants across the continent, from Mauritania in the west along the Atlantic Ocean, to Somalia in the east along the Indian Ocean.
The Pentagon is paying a lot more attention to Africa than in years past, analysts say.
c A Nigerian man tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009 - the flight was saved only because of an explosives malfunction - which the bomber carried from Lagos, Nigeria.
c An al Qaeda group known as AQIM that operates in the west and north of Africa kidnaps foreigners, making vast tracts no-go areas.
“If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it is the thought of an American passport-holding person who transits through a training camp in Somalia and gets some skill and then finds their way back into the United States to attack Americans here in our homeland,” Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, said in Washington last month. “That’s mission failure for us.”
U.S. and European officials also worry that AQIM is working to establish contacts with Boko Haram and al-Shabab, the Islamist Somali insurgent group.
“I think the security threats emanating from Africa are being taken more seriously than they have been before, and they’re more real,” said Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The U.S. is conducting counterterrorism training and equipping militaries in countries including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia to “preclude terrorists from establishing sanctuaries,” according to the U.S. Africa Command, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
In Somalia, the U.S. helps support 9,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi to fight militants in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.