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A More Secure Africa Is in America’s Best Interests

Dean Emeritus Admiral James Stavridis examines the reasons for U.S. military presence in Africa, via his Bloomberg Opinion column.

Karen Blixen’s evocative 1937 memoir “Out of Africa” was about the British Empire’s experience in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century, when European powers were scrambling to consolidate colonies across the massive landmass of Africa. Over the ensuing century, Africa has gone through massive decolonialization, a population expansion and enormous turmoil. Recently, U.S. involvement, while episodic at best, has at least helped contain the rise of violent extremism. But the U.S. is now considering withdrawing much of its military and intelligence capabilities in a shift designed to free up resources for a renewal of “great power competition.” This potential move out of Africa is a mistake, and we should examine the reasons for a sensible level of U.S. security involvement on the continent.

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