Global powers rush to increase military presence in strategic Horn of Africa
The security situation in the Horn of Africa is growing more unstable as major powers rush to establish a military presence in the strategic region.
This has drawn renewed attention to the reality of widespread foreign military operations in Africa.
The spread of foreign military forces across Africa comes despite the African Union’s ongoing concerns about the proliferation of foreign military bases on the continent.
At least 13 foreign powers have a substantial military presence on the continent. The US and France are at the forefront of conducting operations on African soil.
Currently, the US has about 7,000 military personnel on rotational deployment in Africa. In addition, 2,000 American soldiers are involved in training missions in 40 African countries. American special forces operate across east Africa in so-called forward operation locations in Kenya and Somalia.
The US and other Western powers use the often-repeated mantra of combating terrorism to destabilize African countries while pursuing its hegemonic interests.
The presence of terrorist groups in Africa has been an excuse for global powers to re-enter these countries. This was seen in the French military intervention in Mali and the US military campaign in Somalia.
In April, Townsend warned US lawmakers in Congress that Washington has underestimated the importance of Africa and regional powers like Russia, China and Iran are rapidly increasing their presence in the continent.