US vows to re-engage Africa despite shift to Russia for security

The head of the US military in Africa, General Michael Langley, is defending the ongoing counterterrorism strategy despite criticism and several African nations turning to Russia for security assistance. 

Langley blames a “tide of Russian disinformation” for the anti-US sentiment and emphasizes the need to “get our narrative out there.”

The US has roughly 6,000 troops stationed in Africa, a number facing potential reduction as key allies like Chad and Niger embrace Russian forces. 

General Langley argues that the US approach, which includes non-combat efforts like addressing climate change and tribal conflict, remains the best long-term solution for regional stability.

The counterterrorism fight faces significant challenges. Violence in the Sahel region has steadily increased since 2021, with over 11,000 deaths reported last year. 

Additionally, military coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have seen these nations distance themselves from Western powers and seek partnerships with Russia. 

Russia’s Wagner Group, a private military contractor, has played a key role in these developments, assisting local forces in retaking territory from rebel groups.

General Langley maintains the US will “double down” on its existing strategy, focusing on good governance, institution building, and addressing non-military challenges alongside its military support. 

He argues that military juntas are not the answer for long-term stability and emphasizes the importance of respecting African nations’ choices in how they tackle security threats.

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