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United States Military Operations in Africa (2007-Present)

The United States has ongoing intelligence, security cooperation, and counter intelligence operations in multiple African countries.[1] As of October 2017 the U.S. military had 5,000 to 6,000 troops in Africa.[2]



The largest number of US troops in Africa are in Djibouti and perform a counter terrorism mission.[3]


In January 2013, a senior Niger official told Reuters that Bisa Williams, the then-United States Ambassador to Niger, requested permission to establish a drone base in a meeting with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou.[4] On 5 February, officials from both Niger and the U.S. said that the two countries signed a status of forces agreement that allowed the deployment of unarmed surveillance drones.[4][5] In that month, U.S. President Barack Obama sent 150 military personnel to Niger to set up a surveillance drone operation that would aid France in its counterterrorism efforts in the Northern Mali conflict.[4][6] In October 2015, Niger and the U.S. signed a military agreement committing the two countries "to work together in the fight against terrorism".[7] U.S. Army Special Forces personnel (commonly referred to as Green Berets) were sent to train the Niger Armed Forces (FAN) to assist in the fight against terrorists from neighboring countries.[6] As of October 2017, there are about 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger, most of whom are working to build a second drone base for American and French aircraft in Agadez.[8][6][9] Construction of the base is expected to be completed in 2018, which will allow the U.S. to conduct surveillance operations with the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper to monitor ISIL insurgents flowing south and other extremists flowing north from the Sahel region.[8]


The United States has roughly 400 troops in Somalia.[3] American military forces work closely with African Union troops. Troops conduct raids with Somali troops and provide transport. American forces have engaged in firefights in self-defense and drone airstrikes have been called in to provide additional support.[10]


  1. ^ Taylor, Adam (2014-05-21). "MAP: The U.S. military currently has troops in these African countries". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  2. ^ "Top senators didn't know the U.S. military was in Niger after attending hearings on it". Newsweek. 2017-10-23. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  3. ^ a b "Where does the U.S. have troops in Africa, and why?". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  4. ^ a b c "Mali conflict: US deploys 100 troops to neighbour Niger". BBC News. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  5. ^ Crawford, Jamie; Lawrence, Chris (7 February 2013). "U.S. to base surveillance drones in Niger, ambassador says". CNN. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Martinez, Luis (19 October 2017). "Why US troops are in Niger". ABC News. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Niger: The death of US soldiers reveals their presence in the Sahel". L'Express (in French). Niamey: AFP. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b Schmitt, Eric; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (5 October 2017). "Deadly Ambush of Green Berets in Niger Belies a 'Low-Risk' Mission". Washington: The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  9. ^ Haltiwanger, John (18 October 2017). "Is Niger Trump's Benghazi? Four U.S. soldiers died and it took him 12 days to respond". Newsweek. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  10. ^ News, A. B. C. (2017-05-05). "Inside the US military's mission in Somalia". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-10-24.

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