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Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, center, and Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, second left, tour a new Turkish-Somali military training center in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Farah Abdi Warsame).

Great Power Competition Is Back in Africa. Could the U.S. and Others Collide?

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

For centuries, outside powers have clashed in Africa, often exploiting weaknesses or divisions across the continent to grasp at power and resources. The second half of the 19th century, for instance, saw the “scramble for Africa” as European nations divided nearly all of the continent into colonies. Several times competition between colonial powers nearly led to war in Europe. In the second half of the 20th century, during the Cold War, Africa was torn as Western nations—first the outgoing European colonizers and later the United States—supported friendly governments and political movements against allies of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba.

Treating Africa as a venue for superpower conflict rather than a place with intrinsic value distorted U.S. policy in the region. In some ways that legacy continues today. ...

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