Support for Niger’s Military-First Spending Strategy Is Showing Signs of Strain

Nigerien police take part in the annual U.S.-led Flintlock exercises, Niamey, Niger, April 13, 2018 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).
Nigerien police take part in the annual U.S.-led Flintlock exercises, Niamey, Niger, April 13, 2018 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).
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Last month, United States Africa Command organized the annual Flintlock military exercises in Niger, convening nearly 2,000 special forces troops from 20 countries, eight of them African. The exercises date back to 2005 and are intended to bolster African militaries’ ability to “counter violent extremist organizations, protect their borders and provide security for their people.” By serving as this year’s host, Niger reinforced its image as a crucial U.S. counterterrorism partner—an image the country has been cultivating for years as it has responded to security threats emanating from neighboring Mali, Nigeria and Libya. Niger’s military partnerships with the West have […]

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