Internal documents from the US military’s Africa Command (Africom) reveal ambitious plans to extend and reinforce a network of low-profile military bases and outposts across the continent. The files detail more than $330-million of spending, including a list of “prioritised” military construction projects planned to be carried out from 2021 to 2025. This is designated for infrastructure investments on US bases stretching across Africa. The files also suggest that Africom’s long-term planning extends for up to 20 years.
The formerly secret documents, issued in October 2018, detail 12 construction projects planned for four US outposts in three countries — Djibouti, Kenya and Niger — that have long been integral to US counterterrorism and counter-violent extremist missions in Africa, suggesting these efforts will continue in the years ahead.
Africom spokesperson John Manley told the Mail & Guardian through email that the projects detailed in the plans “continue on course and are in various stages of planning and/or execution”.
“The plans, whether they materialise or not, seem to indicate that the Pentagon is interested in expanding its infrastructure in Africa, for drone ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and drone warfare, as well as training camps and lily-pad bases for increasing the US capacity to project force in key regions, the Horn of Africa, East Africa and the Sahel,” said Salih Booker, the president and chief executive of the Center for International Policy in Washington DC.