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US Officials Admit President Biden’s Strategy for Africa is Predictably Failing

US Officials Admit President Biden’s Strategy for Africa is Predictably Failing

Just a few days after the United States announced its decision to withdraw its 1,100 troops from the West African nation , some U.S. officials in Washington are starting to admit that the Biden administration’s strategy to maintain diplomatic relationships with war-battered African countries and overall peace in the region might be failing.

According to two officials familiar with the matter, the decision of the U.S. military to withdraw its troops from Niger was not a move they saw coming. Both officials, who were granted anonymity to speak about sensitive diplomatic negotiations, told POLITICO that America had invested more than $1 billion in Niger, and the looming withdrawal was a devastating blow to their efforts to combat terrorism and maintain overall peace in the region.

Speaking to POLITICO, the officials explained that the Biden administration’s strategy has been to engage coup governments and negotiate roadmaps and timetables for democratic elections. However, due to the U.S. law, which prohibits Washington from providing funds to coup governments, Niger, and several African countries, including Chad, Central African Republic, Mali and Libya, have turned toward Russia for security and financial assistance.

In Mali, for example, members of Russia’s elite Wagner paramilitary force have been helping government forces carry out strikes and raids that have killed scores of civilians in recent months, according to rights groups.

In Niger, Military instructors and personnel from Russia’s defence ministry have arrived to train Nigerien soldiers and set up an air defence system in the country. Niger has mirrored the military cooperation efforts of neighbouring juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso by forging closer ties with Russia.

One of the senior U.S. officials said if U.S. troops leave, America will lose access to a critical military base it relies on to fight groups like ISIS. According to him, the U.S. drone base in Niger is used for intelligence collection that is key for targeting terrorist strongholds including al Qaeda and ISIS in the region.

The officials explained that there are ongoing efforts to maintain diplomatic relations with these African countries—many of which have vast natural resources—to resume military and other financial support one day. However, it will be impossible to ignore the implications of carrying out operations in a country whose government has increasingly close military ties with Russia.

Business Insider


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