US Military Presence in Africa: All Over Continent and Still Expanding


Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

There are currently roughly 7,500 US military personnel, including 1,000 contractors, deployed in Africa. For comparison, that figure was only 6,000 just a year ago. The troops are strung throughout the continent spread across 53 countries. There are 54 countries on the “Dark Continent.” More than 4,000 service members have converged on East Africa. The US troop count in Somalia doubled last year….

Operation Condor was a network of coordinated surveillance, arrest, torture and murder bureaus among the US-sponsored police state countries of latin america in the 60’s and beyond.  It was set up by the CIA.

You can be sure this kind of network is already well advanced in Africa.

Operation Condor: Deciphering the U.S. Role

According to recently de-classified files, the U.S. aided and facilitated Condor operations as a matter of secret but routine policy.

In mid-April, 2001, Argentine judge Rodolfo Canicoba issued path-breaking international arrest warrants for two former high-ranking functionaries of the military regimes of Chile and Paraguay. These two, along with an Argentine general also summoned by the court, are accused of crimes committed within the framework of Operation Condor. Judge Canicoba presides over one of several cases worldwide investigating abductions and murders linked to Condor, a shadowy Latin American military network created in the 1970s whose key members were Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, later joined by Peru and Ecuador. Condor was a covert intelligence and operations system that enabled the Latin American military states to hunt down, seize, and execute political opponents across borders. Refugees fleeing military coups and repression in their own countries were “disappeared” in combined transnational operations. The militaries defied international law and traditions of political sanctuary to carry out their ferocious anticommunist crusade.

The judge’s request for the detention and extradition of Manuel Contreras of Chile, former chief of the gestapo-like Directorate of National Intelligence (DINA), and former dictator Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay, along with his summons for ex-junta leader Jorge Videla of Argentina, represents another example of the rapid advances occurring in international law and justice since the arrest of General Pinochet in 1998. In effect, the struggle against impunity is being “globalized.”

As human rights organizations, families of victims, lawyers, and judges press for disclosure and accountability regarding human rights crimes committed during the Cold War, inevitable questions arise as to the role of the foremost leader of the anticommunist alliance, the United States. This article explores recent evidence linking the U.S. national security apparatus with Operation Condor. Condor took place within the broader context of inter-American counterinsurgency coordination and operations led and sponsored by the Pentagon and the CIA. U.S. training, doctrine, organizational models, technology transfers, weapons sales, and ideological attitudes profoundly shaped security forces in the region.

Recently declassified documents add weight to the thesis that U.S. forces secretly aided and facilitated Condor operations. The U.S. government considered the Latin American militaries to be allies in the Cold War, worked closely with their intelligence organizations, and promoted coordinated action and modernization of their capabilities. As shown here, U.S. executive agencies at least condoned, and sometimes actively assisted, some Condor “countersubversive” operations….

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