How Would a Military Drawdown Affect U.S. Engagement in Africa?

U.S. and Nigerien flags raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, April 16, 2018 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).
U.S. and Nigerien flags raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, April 16, 2018 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).
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Last month, The New York Times reported that the U.S. Department of Defense was considering “a major reduction—or even a complete pullout—of American forces from West Africa.” The proposal is part of a worldwide review of overseas U.S. deployments, based on the Trump administration’s strategic framework of refocusing resources away from counterterrorism missions and toward competition with adversarial great powers like China and Russia. But for many observers, it was just the latest troubling sign of American disengagement from Africa. For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, journalist Peter Tinti joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman for a conversation about the on-the-ground […]

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