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U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts Destabilizing African Nations

U.S. trained officers in Africa have attempted at least nine coups on the continent since 2008.

A photo collage shows U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Milton J. Sands III, center, flanked by Ivorian Special Forces Soldiers, Nigerian, and Ghanian Armed Forces soldiers during Flintlock 2023. Photo illustration: Elise Swain/The Intercept;Photos: U.S. Arm

Vice President Kamala Harris wrapped a historic tour of Africa last week, where she positioned the U.S. as a reliable and trustworthy security and economic partner. This week on Intercepted, host Murtaza Hussain is joined by investigative reporter, Nick Turse, to discuss his latest reporting on U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Africa.

Since the war on terror was launched, the U.S. government’s ventures in Africa have been more focused on military aid than economic support. Harris’s trip comes after a decade of China investing in infrastructure and critical resource mining throughout the continent and the administration’s concerns over the growing influence of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group.

But America’s 20-plus years of counterterrorism support in the region hasn’t resulted in better security. In that time, terrorist groups have risen and U.S.-trained African officers have attempted at least nine coups, eight of which were successful. Hussain and Turse discuss the impact of U.S. military involvement and the influence of other foreign powers.

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