Lack of Transparency in US Military Footprint Expansion in Africa
PANGEA-RISK published a special report on AFRICA & US: LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN US MILITARY FOOTPRINT EXPANSION IN AFRICA.
While the US is pledging to reinvigorate economic and commercial engagements with Africa, a planned drawdown of US troops on the continent is unlikely to proceed. Biden administration policy advisers are advocating to maintain the US military footprint in Africa, as well as to ramp up its presence on the continent to protect US commercial and other interests.
Instead, the US military is spending extensively on operational bases and formulating longer-term strategic plans to maintain its footprint in Africa. These plans include often controversial deals signed with small and economically dependent states such as Djibouti and Cape Verde.
The expansion of US military interests has attracted growing criticism from activist groups and Africa’s political opposition, particularly over a lack of accountability and transparency in such deployments.
While US military operations in East Africa are well-publicised, its growing activities in West Africa are under-reported, while some West African governments have not been transparent in their agreements with the US.
The Cape Verdean government has attempted to amend the constitution to allow for the full implementation of the US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). US military personnel are already deployed in Cape Verde and are often spotted concealing arms while dressed in civilian outfits.
The ongoing controversy over the presence of US military personnel in Cape Verde and the ongoing debate surrounding the SOFA relate to Cape Verde’s broader erosion of judicial institutions.
PANGEA-RISK is a specialist intelligence firm providing analysis and forecasts on political, security, and economic risk in Africa and the Middle East. The company was founded in 2015 as EXX Africa, rebranded as PANGEA-RISK in 2020, and has since become a leading risk advisory and consultancy with a broad network of clients ranging from DFIs, banks, traders, corporates, and insurers, to governments, counterterrorism, and military forces worldwide.