‘Massive expansion’ in US covert operations in Africa

US military base in DjiboutiBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The United States administration of President Barack Obama is implementing a near-unprecedented expansion of covert operations by American military forces throughout Africa, aimed at a host of armed groups deemed extremist by Washington. A lead article published yesterday in The Washington Post quotes over a dozen unnamed American and African officials, as well as military contractors, who refer to the US military-led effort as Project CREEKSAND. It allegedly involves secret operations in several African countries, conducted out of a large network of small air bases located in strategic locations around the continent. According to The Post, most of the airplanes used in Project CREEKSAND are small, unarmed, disguised to look like private aircraft, and bear no military markings or government insignia. In reality, however, they carry sophisticated electronic equipment designed to collect signals intelligence, while some are used to transport US Special Forces troops during capture or kill missions. The paper quotes an unnamed “former senior US commander […] involved in setting up the [air bases] network”, who alleges that the US government has built about a dozen such bases throughout Africa since 2007. These secret air bases are located in countries such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, and Seychelles. Most of the US personnel involved in Project CREEKSAND consists of Special Operations forces tasked with “training foreign security forces [and] performing aid missions”. However, The Post alleges that there are also small teams of US operatives who are “dedicated to tracking and killing suspected terrorists”. Their targets include groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab in Somalia, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, as well as Azawad, the newly established state in northern Mali, whose independence was declared recently by Islamist separatists. Some US forces are also involved in gathering intelligence on Joseph Kony, the elusive Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Interestingly, the article mentions skepticism by some critics, who wonder why the US military, rather than the Central Intelligence Agency, is in charge of Project CREEKSAND. Others warn that the groups targeted by the Obama administration in Africa are local in scope and fight for regional goals, not global, and thus do not pose any direct threat to the US. Thus, by interfering in their local religious or nationalist struggles, Washington risks creating unwanted backlash. The Post says that it sent an email with several questions about Project CREEKSAND to the US Pentagon’s Africa Command, which refused to provide “specific operational details”.

4 Responses to ‘Massive expansion’ in US covert operations in Africa

  1. Talent says:

    Having visited the CIA website and seen the requirements to be an agent,not being a US citizen automatically disqualifies from qualifying but however im so keen to join the Agency for possible African operations,im currently a 2nd year undegraduate student,fascinated by te work of secret service operations.Cant there be any alternative?

  2. intelNews says:

    You cannot apply work as a CIA agent. Agents are people recruited by CIA case officers. You can work as a CIA officer, if you are an American citizen. [IA]

  3. Maria Watts says:

    I am a simple citizen of the united states. About that last sentence that the US Pentagon’s Africa Command, which refused to provide “specific operational details”, Please do try to understand why they do not give answers about this as to respect the privacy that will protect the safety and security of our military service men and women who are there. We want what is best for them so it is our duty to not request information that compromises their safety while they give of themselves. This is how we honor and love them for all they do. God bless them. Maria

  4. Maria Watts says:

    and that includes the CIA. thanks

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