Why Are We in Niger?

At the end of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s moving briefing about the four American Special Forces soldiers killed in Niger earlier in October, he took questions. The first was, “Why are we in Niger?”

The question was too narrow; it isn’t only Niger. Tens of thousands of American troops are deployed in more than 150 countries, working with America’s local partners to help them become better soldiers and meet their own threats. We are on every continent except Antarctica. While we are unlikely to ever know precisely who killed the four soldiers, what is happening in Niger is happening in all the countries of the second tier of Africa — volatile and insecure countries of mixed Christian, Muslim and traditional indigenous religions. American soldiers are there to help governments more effectively control their own territory and borders, reducing the likelihood of transnational jihad.

  • BillyHW

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe the Americans have bases in Antarctica.

    • Tsquare

      The Antarctica bases are research bases and they are manned mostly by civilian contractors and scientists.

      The US footprint on Africa has grown in the past 30 years. We have only one permanent base and it is in Djibouti. All of the other bases or OPs are temporary bases with planned obsolescence.

  • Millie_Woods

    “…reducing the likelihood of transnational jihad.”

    That’s going swimmingly isn’t it. How about our governments stop importing and supporting the root cause of transnational jihad?

    Reducing the likelihood of transnational jihad is one big fat fucking lie..

  • Islam has to be declared illegal across the whole world, and very energetically repressed by forceful means. It is a constant source of conflict throughout history and it won’t stop being so till dealt with with extreme prejudice.