The U.S. Is Building a Drone Base in Niger That Will Cost More Than $280 Million by 2024

2018/08/23 – A U.S. drone base in a remote part of West Africa has garnered attention for its $100 million construction price tag. But according to new projections from the Air Force, its initial cost will soon be dwarfed by the price of operating the facility — about $30 million a year. By 2024, when the 10-year agreement for use of the base in Agadez, Niger, ends, its construction and operating costs will top a quarter-billion dollars — or around $280 million, to be more precise.

Continuer à lire … « The U.S. Is Building a Drone Base in Niger That Will Cost More Than $280 Million by 2024 »

Niger – US counterterror fight in Africa also turns to local police

2018/04/28 – Under the watchful eyes of U.S. authorities, an elite group of local police officers in Niger’s capital slipped into a home, rescued a « hostage, » detained an « extremist » and pretended to kill another.

The police training in one of Africa’s most remote, impoverished countries is crucial as extremists linked to the Islamic State group and al-Qaida carry out increasingly bold attacks in West Africa’s vast Sahel region. In October, four U.S. soldiers and five Nigeriens were killed in an ambush claimed by Islamic State group-linked fighters in rural Niger. Continuer à lire … « Niger – US counterterror fight in Africa also turns to local police »

Niger – Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K.

2018/03/29 – When news first emerged that four American special operators and five Nigeriens had been killed in a deadly ambush on the 4th of October 2017, it catapulted the hitherto, little-known United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) presence in Niger into the limelight. Almost immediately, Senators were poring  back over the documents they had been briefed on concerning United States (U.S.) combat operations in the region. Many of them admitted they had not been aware of the scale or nature of the US presence in Niger. Some commentators suggested they should have been paying more attention. Lora Lumpe and Jacob Marx of the Open Society Foundation stated, “Either the Pentagon has not been informing Congress, or it is sending updates…but nobody is reading them.” Continuer à lire … « Niger – Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K. »

Mali/Niger : Drug Wars, Missing Money and a Phantom $500 Million

2018/02/10 – 2017 was a year of investigations for U.S. Africa Command. There was the investigation of the two-star commander of U.S. Army Africa who allegedly sent racy texts to an enlisted man’s wife. There was the investigation into the alleged killing of an Army Special Forces soldier by Navy SEALs in Mali. There was the inquiry into reports of torture and killings on a remote base in Cameroon that was also used by American forces. Continuer à lire … « Mali/Niger : Drug Wars, Missing Money and a Phantom $500 Million »