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News Link • Africa: On the Map

Exclusive: The U.S. has more military operations in Africa than the Middle East

• By Nick Turse

"These weren't the first casualties, either. We had them in Somalia and Kenya," said retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, who served as commander of Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) from April 2015 to June 2017, in an interview with VICE News. "We had them in Tunisia. We had them in Mali. We had them in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad. But those were kept as quiet as possible. Nobody talked about it."Indeed, two separate military efforts — named Juniper Shield and Obsidian Nomad — that were set to intersect but failed to on the night of the deadly ambush near Tongo Tongo in Niger were part of a pattern of expansion on the African continent that has made it the most active U.S. military theatre in the world. The United States has conducted more than 30 named operations and activities in Africa over the last three years, according to documents obtained by VICE News. While more troops are deployed to, and engaged in combat in, the Greater Middle East, the sheer number of named efforts in Africa actually surpasses that region.

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