United States Military Operations in Africa (2007-Present)
The United States has ongoing intelligence, security cooperation, and counter intelligence operations in multiple African countries. As of October 2017 the U.S. military had 5,000 to 6,000 troops in Africa.
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. 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. 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. In October 2015, Niger and the U.S. signed a military agreement committing the two countries "to work together in the fight against terrorism". 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. 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. 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.
The United States has roughly 400 troops in Somalia. 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.
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