In order to better compete with China and Russia in Africa, elements of the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) will be deployed to the continent to conduct train, advise, and assist missions in spotlight African countries.
Army SFABs are manned, trained and equipped specifically for the train, advise and assist mission. This allows them to perform this important ”great power competition” role more effectively and more efficiently than conventional units.
The deployment of the SFAB allows the Army to return elements of an infantry brigade from the 101st Airborne Division back to its home base of Ft. Campbell, KY, allowing it to train and prepare for high intensity conflict operations.
[January 29 2020 allowing al-Qaida affiliates and IS safe havens ]]
The G5 Sahel force will now focus most of its efforts in the tri-border region between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, targeting Islamic State Grand Sahara.
However, progress in the Sahel has been minimal, and the problems there need to be solved by those regional governments, the assistant secretary for the U.S. State Department’s African affairs division, Tibor Nagy.
Col. Thomas Geiser, deputy commander of special operations for the Africa Command, said the biggest risk is allowing al-Qaida affiliates and the Islamic State to expand “and potentially consolidate safe havens there.” More than 1,000 U.S. personnel are currently in the Sahel. The U.S. has also constructed a $110 million drone base in northern Niger.
[January 27 2020 France asks U.S. to stay in Sahel ]
Esper declined to say what cuts he was considering in Africa, which according to reports could include shutting down a US drone base in the region.
France’s Foreign Minister, Florence Parly, is heading to Washington for talks aimed at persuading the Americans to continue their logistical backing – drones, intelligence and transport – for the French operation.
[Januaey 23 2020 U.S. calls for larger European contribution ]
“If the Americans were to decide to withdraw from Africa, it would be bad news for us. I confirm it,” French President Emmanuel Macron said at the summit. “I hope I can convince President Trump that the fight against terrorism, in which he is deeply engaged, is also at stake in this region.”
The U.S., in turn, calls the French presence critical in the Sahel, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has suggested as the next focus for the global anti-IS coalition.
“The French have more in the Sahel than we have U.S. service members on the entire (African) continent,” Maj. Gen. William Gayler, the U.S. Africa Command director of operations, acknowledged last week. He called for a larger European contributionto support them.
The U.S. has about 5,200 Africa Command personnel, troops and others, on the continent, plus about 800 other Department of Defense personnel.
[2019 December 24: reveal cuts to ]
A proposed cut in Africa would likely focus on several hundred American troops deployed in Niger, Chad and Mali. Under consideration is a plan to abandon a recently built $110 million drone base in Niger, and end assistance to French forces battling militants in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
[September 28 2018 Niger Base 201 drones to Southern Libya ]
As U.S. Special Forces are preparing to reduce their footprint in Africa, lethal drone use is ramping up. Dirkou Airport is next to Nguingaoué and is located in Agadez, Niger. The CIA has already used the expanded base in Dirkou, Niger Air Base 201, for surveillance missions, but now the drones are likely to be used on lethal ones. For now, the targets are militants in southern Libya.
[ September 13 U.S., advise and assist capacity, in Somalia: Niger drone base rising ]
The facility, a C-17 and MQ-9 capable airfield, which is part of the expanded U.S. military footprint in Africa, is now the largest base-building effort ever undertaken by troops in the history of the U.S. Air Force, according to Richard Komurek, a spokesperson for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa,eclipsing construction at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, a longtime clandestine outpost from which the U.S. flies drones and fighter aircraft.
Three male members of the Daar family, a revered nationalist, between the ages of 15 and 20 were arrested in the raid, the relatives said. The whereabouts of the detainees are currently unknown. The joint forces left with the three boys on a waiting helicopter, the witnesses said. Major Karl Weist, a spokesman for US Africa Command, said that American forces, in an advise and assist capacity, partnered in a Somali-led ground force operation to disrupt and degrade al-Shabaab operations in the vicinity of Wagaante, Somalia, on the night of 4 September 2018.
“The operation targeted al-Shabaab’s improvised explosive device network. US forces were in a supporting role only,” he said.
“This was an operation conducted by Somali special forces with their American advisers,” a source in the prime minister’s office. In recent years the US has increased its support for local troops, sending special forces to train Somali troops and accompany combat operations. The US has also conducted a growing number of airstrikes, including dozens by unmanned drones.
[ November 7 2013 Barawe Somalia raid by same US navy Seal unit that killed Osama bin Laden ]
Saturday’s stealthy assault on Barawe Somalia was by the same US navy Seal unit that killed Osama bin Laden. George Little, the US defence secretary, said Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima, was the focus of the pre-dawn amphibious assault that was beaten back after a heavy firefight. The Pentagon identified Abdulkadir as a top commander in the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.There are conflicting reports of how Ikrima survived Saturday’s stealthy assault. One source claimed Abdulkadir was inside the targeted house and sustained injuries, while his special bodyguard, a non-Somali, was killed.
But in a voice recording posted on a pro-Shabaab website, its military spokesman Abdiasis Abu Mus’ab denied that any senior commander of the group was inside the house at the time. “We confirm that only security personnel were inside the house. No such high-target person was staying in the house.”
[March 8 2012]
Bin Laden’s eldest wife, Khairiah Saber, was so upset that after she moved into the house in February last year that she collaborated with the CIA teams that were hunting him. “Absolutely, I’m sure about it,” said Mr Qadir. While Bin Laden lived on the third floor of the property with his youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, a Yemeni who was 19 when they married in 1999, another wife, Siham Saber, lived in another room on the same floor. That arrangement seems to work until the arrival of his eldest wife, Saudi-born Khairiah Saber, in early 2011.
[February 26]Osama bin Laden’s hideout is being demolished, bringing an end to a symbol of American resolve and Pakistani frustration over how the operation was conducted.
Navy SEAL Team Six raided the Abbottabad compound in May 2011 and killed the al Qaeda leader. The United States did not tell Pakistan about the raid until it was over.
[May 2, 2011]